Long ago, in a Carnival far past (the late Seventies), there existed a krewe that brought glorious civic pandemonium and avant garde float design to the city. It was known as the Krewe of Clones. Former krewe member Elizabeth Shannon was kind enough to go through her files and present the following evidence of their activities. What emerges is a picture of a deeply awesome, borderline offensive scene well ahead of its time in morbid pop cultural instigation and general irreverence. Previous kings and queens were Barbie and Ken, as well as deceased celebrities Elvis Presley and Jane Mansfield.
Shannon is quick to point out that the krewe’s mission was greater than schoolyard antics. The floats were conceived of as moving sculpture, and the krewe’s membership was heavily given over to artists of various media and approaches. The local Carnival tradition, she says, acted as a unifying structure for the exuberant chaos of interdisciplinary art.
The krewe’s humor—a mixture of poor taste and artistic ambition—might strike the modern Carnival viewer as similar to Krewe de Vieux’s general shtick. This is no coincidence. After various complications inherent in parading dead actresses (or their impersonators) through the CBD, the Clones disbanded, but key members went on to start the Krewe de Vieux.
Like a phoenix reborn from the ashes, the Clones evolved into the grandest and most venerable parade celebrating various bodily and social dysfunctions that, in the paradox of our fair city, are allowed to roll through the streets but cannot be described fully in a family paper.
Unfortunately, few visual photographs of Clone parades are floating around on the Internet. Former members or anyone who documented their shenanigans are welcome to submit their photos here.