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Backstreet Cultural Museum

1116 Henriette Delille, New Orleans, New Orleans, LA 70116 (Mid-City)
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Ranked #23 of 166 attractions in New Orleans
Certificate of Excellence 2013
Type: Specialty Museums
Description: Hours: Tuesday thru Saturday, 10-5.
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91 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Atlanta, Georgia
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
15 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2014

Having watched the entire Treme series, it was great to be in the area that the show depicted. What was even better was visiting this fascinating place, showcasing the Indian Chiefs and the history behind the evolution of the Chiefs. Apparently they don their costumes if it is not raining on Sunday afternoons, and that would be great to see.... More

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Saint Louis, Missouri
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2014

If you love New Orleans, the eclectic nature of the city, it's rich history, and the beauty of the Indian Chiefs, you absolutely MUST go to this museum. The curator/guide has a very personal interest in this museum and the history of the Mardi Gras Indian Chiefs and their costumes, the second line paraders, and the social clubs. If you... More

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Davis, California
Top Contributor
169 reviews 169 reviews
59 attraction reviews
130 helpful votes 130 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2014

The Backstreet Cultural Museum displays elaborate, detailed, original, feathered and beaded Mardi Gras Indian Chiefs, as well as other Mardi Gras costumes and some memorabilia from Jazz Funerals. It's a small museum, a labor of love without the benefit of professional interpretation and displays. Nonetheless, the collection is hugely significant and fascinating. I'm so glad we had the opportunity to... More

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Minneapolis, Mn
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2014

I thought it was a privilege to see this beautiful collection of feathered and beaded Mardi Gras Indian Chief costumes which are worn three times and then put away. They each take an entire year to make and the collection that Sylvester Francis displays has been donated by several of the chiefs. There are also other very interesting things to... More

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Eugene, Oregon
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2014

An amazing collection of African-American cultural traditions in New Orleans. Sylvester proudly showed off his collection of costumes worn by the Indian chiefs during Mardi Gras which are absolutely fantastic. He explained the tradition and the work that goes into creating the costumes. His collection of Second Line and Social and Pleasure Club memorabilia is impressive. A whole side to... More

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Ukunda, Kenya
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2014

Although there were two conflicting addresses on different websites, we located the museum on a quiet backstreet just around the corner from Louis Armstrong Park. Sylvester welcomed us and showed us around the museum. His explanations and enthusiasm made the experience much richer. We particularly enjoyed hearing about local character Uncle Lionel. We were shocked that the museum gets so... More

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Jackson, Mississippi
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2014

Took a couple tours over the weekend and both of the guides highly recommended the Backstreet. The Mardi Gras Indian suits on display are amazing. Sylvester Francis, the owner, led us on a great tour of the place, explaining everything that he has on display. I'm not much of a museum type, but this place is absolutely incredible and a... More

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Madison, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
15 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

This was a great experience. It showed the costumes worn by the tribes and the history of second line parades. The owner Mr Sylvester Francis was a pleasure to meet. He told all about the history and culture of MardiGras and second line parades. I left with a better understanding of the history of the people and their traditions. So... More

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Winter Park, Florida
4 reviews 4 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2013

This is the essence of New Orleans to me. The history of the Mardi Gras Indians and their spectacular costumes, the tradition of the Second Line parades and the jazz funerals are sweetly explained by Sylvester Francis. This is a funky homegrown museum with great charm. The Smithsonian is reportedly trying to get this collection but don't wait to see... More

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Melbourne, australia
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2013

We were very lucky to be showed around by Sylvester Francis and felt honoured to have met him. There is so much history here and we felt like we had begun to understand the culture of New Orleans. This museum receives no funding, and is looked after by Sylvester , his wife and daughter so make sure you leave them... More

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