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The House of Dance and Feathers

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Address: 1317 Tupelo Street, New Orleans, LA 70117
Phone Number: 504 957 2678
Website
Description: House of Dance & Feathers is a cultural museum based on Ronald Lewis...
House of Dance & Feathers is a cultural museum based on Ronald Lewis' participation in the culture of Mardi Gras Indians, Social Aid & Pleasure Clubs & Skull and Bone Gangs. Opening hours are informal, so please telephone ahead to make an appointment.Ronald: I was working on my Mardi Gras Indian costumes for the Choctaw Hunters, a Mardi Gras Indian tribe I helped start in the Lower 9th Ward. While I was working on the suits, I had feathers and memorabilia all over the house. I came home one day & everything was in my backyard. My loving wife (who we call Minnie) said "I can't take this no more. You've got to find something to do with this." I moved the artwork into the shed and started putting up my various artifacts. The children in the community started calling it a museum and I gave it a name, "The House of Dance & Feathers", which means second lining and Mardi Gras Indians. I was at the point in my life where, "Okay, I can make a Mardi Gras Indian costume, but I want to educate the world about our great culture, how we do this, and why we are so successful at it even though the economics say we ain't supposed to be." Ronald created the museum in 2003, and then once again rebuilt in the wake of Katrina in 2005. Based at Ronalds house on Tupelo Street in the Lower 9th Ward, The House of Dance & Feathers is a unique experience as Ronald Lewis weaves his personal stories into each artifact in the museum and encourages a dialogue with his guests, so no two visits are ever the same. Although you'll arrive a stranger, you'll almost certainly leave as a friend.As well as being the museum's director and curator, Ronald W. Lewis, is the president of the Big Nine Social Aid & Pleasure Club, former Council Chief of the Choctaw Hunters, Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame inductee, 2008 King of Krewe de Vieux and a central character in Dan Baums best seller, Nine Lives: Mystery, Magic, Death and Life in New Orleans.
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Most recent review
A gem

I was so happy I took my family here. It is the most real experience you will have in NOLA. Mr. Lewis is an incredible wealth of knowledge of Mardi Gras and New Orleans... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed January 5, 2015
IslandDad77554
,
Galveston, Texas
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14 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Galveston, Texas
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2015

I was so happy I took my family here. It is the most real experience you will have in NOLA. Mr. Lewis is an incredible wealth of knowledge of Mardi Gras and New Orleans history. Great artifacts you can touch and really experience. I highly recommend visiting. There is no fee but whatever donation you want to make.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
20 attraction reviews
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2014

If you come here looking for the devastation Hurricane Katrina left behind, you can find it. Instead, may I suggest an uplifting and truly joyful experience: a visit to the House of Dance and Feathers, Mr. Ronald Lewis' backyard museum dedicated to preserving, reviving and celebrating the community he loves and its unconquerable spirit. Call the phone number on the... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
20 attraction reviews
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2014

Nothing else personified the friendly heart and unconquerable spirit of this city like the hour we spent at the House of Dance and Feathers. The owner, Ronald Lewis, is a featured character in Dan Baum's non-fiction book about New Orleans, "Nine Lives." I had just started reading the book, and at the end of Chapter One, Ron as a child... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
12 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2014 via mobile

We went here as part of our bicycle tour of Ninth Ward, host and museum curator Ronald E Lewis is an American Indian who has built up an amazing collection on display for the public - you need to book to make sure he's available as he's an integral part of the museum. Ronald has stories to tell,books to show... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Top Contributor
203 reviews 203 reviews
93 attraction reviews
99 helpful votes 99 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2014

We were visiting our friends in New Orleans earlier this month and one of our friends is writing a book about different neighborhoods in New Orleans. She has done extensive research for this and in doing so she met Ron Lewis. He is an incredible man who has lived through quite a bit in New Orleans. Our friends took us... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Darwin, Australia
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2014

Wanted to learn more about the unique culture of Nola and how things have progressed since Katrina. We were lucky enough to find Ron. There is so much to look at and so many questions. I felt like I could have chatted with Ron for hours about Mardi Gras, Katrina, music and so much more. His passion for his community... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
12 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2014

The House of Dance and Feathers is housed in a small building behind Director Ronald Lewis' house in the Lower 9th Ward. It may not look like much on the outside, but the collection of costumes and artifacts from Mardi Gras Indians and various Social Pleasure Clubs is a real treat to see. Mr. Lewis lost a great deal of... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Berkeley, California
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 attraction reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2014 via mobile

Mr. Ronald Lewis opens his home-based museum and heart to visitors wanting to gain some understanding and knowledge about the traditions of Mardi Gras Indians, Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs and the rebirth of the 9th ward after Katrina. Being there was like being with a relative talking story.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Leeds, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2014

We visited The House of Dance and Feathers as part of the Ninth Ward Rebirth Bike Tour. Echo the comments that owner Ronald Lewis is one of the nicest people you could meet and it was one of the highlights of our trip to New Orleans. We purchased a signed copy of his book before we said our goodbyes. It... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
haddon twp, United States
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2013

Mr. Ronald Lewis's House of Dance and Feathers is truly a beautiful exhibit of history, strength, and culture! The collection of pieces/stories in the House of Dance and Feathers allows you to delve deep into New Orleans people, cluture and history. Mr. Lewis is a true ambassador of New Orleans and the Lower Ninth Ward. Listening to him tell stories... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2

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