Les Mysterieuses, Carnival’s first female group, was founded in 1896 — presenting a ball and attracting media attention. Two decades later, the group that would become the Krewe of Iris was founded in 1917.
These pioneering female krewes paved the way for a new sphere for women in Mardi Gras. Along the way, more female societies and parading krewes like the Pussyfooters joined the fray.
This year, in honor of Iris’ 100th anniversary, the Louisiana State Museum will feature female krewes with an exhibition titled Iris and the Goddesses of Carnival, in partnership with the Krewes of Iris, Muses and Nyx.