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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
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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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Ronald , the man who created and runs the museum is one of the most interesting people I have ever met

When visiting New Orleans, take a break from the typical Bourbon street dining and drinking activities and enjoy some real cultural Louisiana history and stories from one of the... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed July 13, 2015
ashleychloetravels
,
Miami, FLorida

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18 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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English first
Miami, FLorida
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2015

When visiting New Orleans, take a break from the typical Bourbon street dining and drinking activities and enjoy some real cultural Louisiana history and stories from one of the most amazing people I have ever met. His stories will fascinate you. His memorabilia from Mardi Gras ( The Second Line) parades will amaze you and his pictures and real life... More 

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Austin
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2015

This is basically one man's tribute to the endangered culture of the Mardi Gras" Indians" from the 9th ward. He gathered up many relics after the storm and put them into a "museum" in his backyard, which he runs with his two adorable granddaughters. The owner, Mr. Lewis, is himself part of the Mardi Gras Indian tradition going back many... More 

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Rancho Santa Margarita, California
Level Contributor
27 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2015

We were honored to be able to visit this national treasure of a museum in the backyard of Ronald Lewis. He has showcased the amazing heritage and culture of the Mardi Gras Indians through costumes, photos, books and more. Everything from parade throws, hand beaded costumes worn by the Indians to samples of the food and water provided to them... More 

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Dunedin, Florida
Level Contributor
30 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2015 via mobile

Ronald Lewis is the most engaging host and his collection of artifacts, as well as his stories and photos of his time with the Mardi Gras Indians is a fascinating piece of New Orleans history. There is no fee to enter, but donations are helpful!

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Galveston, Texas
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 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.

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Level Contributor
45 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 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
Level Contributor
45 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 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 

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Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
29 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 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 

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Level Contributor
315 reviews
134 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 136 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 

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Darwin, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 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 

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