The House of Dance and Feathers

The House of Dance and Feathers, New Orleans: Tickets, Tours, Address, Phone Number, The House of Dance and Feathers Reviews: 5/5

The House of Dance and Feathers

The House of Dance and Feathers
5
About
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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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Ninth Ward
People focus too much on the hardships so closely associated with this well known working class neighborhood when what’s really most remarkable about the tightknit community is its indefatigable spirit of rebirth and ability to stay true to its roots. Perhaps not an ideal destination for those visitors who tend to keep well within their comfort zones when traveling or those with bucket lists filled to the brim with top tourist attractions, the Ninth Ward is nonetheless there for those who are most keen to discover the places they encounter. But it’s not all about learning lessons when going to the Ninth Ward. With its “Living Museum” and “steamboat houses” and a long enduring dedication to preserving local culture, there’s more than enough to see and do during a daytime tour of the area.

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TAMAN1951
Liberty Lake, WA5,690 contributions
Fantastic
Mar 2020 • Family
Wonderful piece of New Orleans history. The place that made many of the black Indian costumes famous during Mardi Gras. Played a role in the HBO series Treme.

Proprietor is a wonderful man willing to spend time and tell you his story.

Great place to visit. So worth it.
Written March 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kurtur
Madison, WI42 contributions
Amazing!!
Dec 2019 • Couples
Ronald Lewis is amazing! (Note - You need an appointment to go in) Ronald Lewis is a 9th ward resident who is committed to his neighborhood and sharing the history and culture of the area.
This is a must visit!
Written December 19, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

mardi c
New Orleans, LA112 contributions
All Hail Ronald Lewis.
Aug 2019
this is a must if your doing museums. The history of mardigras right up in here, with a native who knows so much, and wants to share. Ronald Lewis, the gatekeeper of the Northside Skull and Bone Gang. Big 9 social aid and pleasure club. founder of this museum and fabulous collection. Its def small, but packed with so much stuff to read, see, touch, and experience you could be there for hours.
Written September 13, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

P4875BGjamesp
New Orleans, United States7 contributions
Colorful & knowledgeable host
Feb 2018
This is private museum of Mardi Gras Indian culture in New Orleans. Mr. Lewis, the owner & operator, is a retired streetcar driver and longtime Indian, skeleton member and Lower 9th Ward homeowner. His artifacts are authentic and represent one of the most colorful traditions in the world. Bonus: If you can get him to talk about his post-Katrina travails and ultimate return to the Lower 9th, you will be mesmerized and deeply moved. By appointment only. Very much worth the effort.
Written October 2, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tim V
8 contributions
Interesting
Jul 2018 • Couples
It’s small and laid back, but full of interesting and authentic items. Ronald is willing to answer any questions and is interested in you and where you’re from. When you’re visiting from abroad he likes it if a part of your tip is given in your local currency. We were free to take pictures and could even touch some of the objects that were on display. If you don’t have a local SIM card it’s best to make Uber or cap arrangements in advance, there’s no free WiFi anywhere in the vicinity.
Written July 21, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

ShanCTraveler
Lexington, MA128 contributions
Ronald Lewis is a great Historian
Dec 2017 • Family
When we visited NOLA we decided to go to “The House of Dance and Feathers.” When we got there another group was already there, but Ronald Lewis got us started right away. He answered all of our questions and taught us about Mardi Gras. He let us touch some of the art, and gave our kids some Mardi Gras beads, and then we took pictures dressed in a Indian beaded headdress and a skull headdress. He also gave us information about New Orleans, including Hurricane Katrina and the recovery effort of the people who live in the lower 9th Ward. In conclusion, we thought that “The House of Dance and Feathers “ is a great place to learn about NOLA culture. There is no admission fee, but tips are accepted. Also, Mr. Lewis wrote a book which he sells at the museum.
Written December 30, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

tumbleweedchris
Richland, WA748 contributions
People Behind the Party
Aug 2017 • Solo
The elderly Mr. Lewis runs this trailer in his back yard as a tourist destination. He played a crucial role in one of the community's krewes. You will find all kinds of knick knacks, headdresses, costumes, and newspaper articles tacked all around this tiny crate. There is not really a lot to see and it will probably take you max 10 minutes to see everything. If you are interested though, Mr. Lewis will tell you stories and facts about his history. That is probably the most interesting part. The museum is free, but he asks for gratuity.
Written August 23, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Janis A
Seattle, WA21 contributions
Cultural visit in the 9th Ward
Apr 2017 • Friends
Your host, Mr.Lewis, is a lifetime resident of the 9th Ward. He has been an active leader in civic life. A visit to the museum in his back yard will enrich your cultural understanding of New Orleans African American culture, grown in the face of continual segregation and discrimination. Take the risk of leaving the typical tourist visit and see The House of Dance and Feathers.
Written April 13, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Daan B
Haarlem, The Netherlands8 contributions
See more than the touristic side of Nola!
Feb 2017 • Couples
Go here if you want see a different cultural side of New Orleans. Mr. Lewis has gathered a nice collection of parts of suits and accessories of the different kinds of tribes and other street cultures in New Orleans. It is small but very authentic and the fact that Ronald Lewis is an insider who can tell you about everything from his own experiences makes it really worthwhile. Prepare some go questions for him to get him talking!
Written March 1, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bethe D
Old Mystic, CT20 contributions
A NOLA - and national - treasure
Feb 2017 • Friends
This small home-based museum in the 9th Ward is chock-a-block with fascinating objects tracing the history of the Mardi Gras Indians, but the most fascinating aspect of all is the museum's wise and gracious creator/curator, Ronald Lewis. To speak with him is a privilege. Call ahead to visit, and listen carefully when you go. You will be richly rewarded.
Written February 18, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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