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“Small but spectacular” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Backstreet Cultural Museum

Backstreet Cultural Museum
Ranked #48 of 328 things to do in New Orleans
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Hours: Tuesday thru Saturday, 10-5.
Port Dover, Canada
Level Contributor
35 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Small but spectacular”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 18, 2012

After watching the TV program Treme and reading Nine Lives by Dan Baum, we knew we had to see the Mardi Gras Indian costumes in person and we were not disappointed. The museum is a former house/funeral parlour so small but chock full of costumes and memorabilia. A family member walked us through the exhibt and answered all of questions while explaining the importance of keeping this part of New Orleans history alive.

Visited October 2012
3 Thank Kate B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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256 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Pacific Grove, California
Level Contributor
97 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Incredible experience!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 14, 2012

This is in the heart of the Treme and in an old house, with a gentleman I think perhaps as old as the house. It was incredible because I felt I was able to sit and listen to stories and learning about the neighborhood, the Mardi Gras Indians from a person who has lived it! The curator is from the Treme, lives there, lived there all of his life...in addition to the amazing costume collection of the Mardi Gras Indians. Plus a history lesson on the treme, plus information about the local politics surrounding the area! It is a must!

Visited October 2012
3 Thank RMarshall2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Support this museum!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 30, 2012

I've seen a couple of bad reviews lower down this page and it leaves me scratching my head a bit. This is not a money making racket, far from it. Four of us went to the museum early in the day. Sylvester the man who started the museum gave us a grand tour, he talked at length about the Indian culture and costumes and also the Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs, he was very gracious and it was a pleasure to be in his company. This is a small operation (two rooms of an old funeral home packed with fascinating items), don't expect a fancy cultural center, in my opinion this is way more interesting. We need more people like Sylvester, collecting and preserving these items for future generations. Visiting the museum was one of the highlights of our whole trip.
I would recommend calling ahead and if possible confirm that Sylvester is available to give you a tour.
Please note there is currently no handicap ramp (although he did mention plans to correct that sometime in the future). Several steps up to the front door make access for wheelchairs difficult.

Visited July 2012
2 Thank Markh136
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Best New Orleans Culture”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 4, 2012

Experience New Orleans True Culture it takes you back to New Orleans early period of Jazz Funeral and Mardi Gras Indian experience.

Visited February 2012
Thank Gilbert C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“School Aged Children's fabulous field-trip”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 2, 2012

What better way to teach the students about the culturally unique traditions of New Orleans than to visit this piece of history in the historic Treme neighborhood (also very near to Congo Square/ Armstrong Park)?! Many locals in NOLA have seen the Indians in costume from afar chanting and playing drums and tamborines or been stopped in traffic as a jazz funeral or social aid & pleasure club second-line parade goes by, but never taken the time to find out why these traditions exist. The Backstreet Cultural Museum showcases great memorabilia of such traditions: videos of second-lines and funerals, a wide variety of photographs, many different costumes, and the owners take the time to explain and answer any of your questions. First through third graders from the Audubon Charter School's Montessori Program enjoyed their visit to this museum indeed!

Visited March 2012
1 Thank Nragnone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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