The glimmering processions of the masked gods and bearded kings of New Orleans Carnival occupy a central position among the rites and glories of this great festival. The long succession of these glowing, torch-lit pageants—with their towering monsters and fantastic decors, their papier-mi1/2chi1/2 kingdoms and diamond-dust thrones—became the greatest and most beloved of New Orleans communal rituals. The fantastic parade floats of Carnival's Golden Age (1870-1930) illustrated themes drawn from mythology, epic literature, history, nature,and whimsy. Presented in this collection are thirty dazzling examples of original float designs as rendered in watercolor and lithographs—most of them reproduced here for the first time.