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Cajun

Cajun

Overview
Cajuns are an ethnic group
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

 mainly living in the U.S. state of Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

, consisting of the descendants of Acadian exiles (French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

-speakers from Acadia
Acadia
Acadia was the name given to lands in a portion of the French colonial empire of New France, in northeastern North America that included parts of eastern Quebec, the Maritime provinces, and modern-day Maine. At the end of the 16th century, France claimed territory stretching as far south as...

 in what are now the Canadian Maritimes). Today, the Cajuns make up a significant portion of south Louisiana's population, and have exerted an enormous impact on the state's culture.

While Lower Louisiana had been settled by French colonists since the late 18th century, the Cajuns trace their roots to the influx of Acadian settlers after the Great Expulsion from their homeland during the French and Indian War
French and Indian War
The French and Indian War is the common American name for the war between Great Britain and France in North America from 1754 to 1763. In 1756, the war erupted into the world-wide conflict known as the Seven Years' War and thus came to be regarded as the North American theater of that war...

 (1754 to 1763).
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Encyclopedia
Cajuns are an ethnic group
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

 mainly living in the U.S. state of Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

, consisting of the descendants of Acadian exiles (French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

-speakers from Acadia
Acadia
Acadia was the name given to lands in a portion of the French colonial empire of New France, in northeastern North America that included parts of eastern Quebec, the Maritime provinces, and modern-day Maine. At the end of the 16th century, France claimed territory stretching as far south as...

 in what are now the Canadian Maritimes). Today, the Cajuns make up a significant portion of south Louisiana's population, and have exerted an enormous impact on the state's culture.

While Lower Louisiana had been settled by French colonists since the late 18th century, the Cajuns trace their roots to the influx of Acadian settlers after the Great Expulsion from their homeland during the French and Indian War
French and Indian War
The French and Indian War is the common American name for the war between Great Britain and France in North America from 1754 to 1763. In 1756, the war erupted into the world-wide conflict known as the Seven Years' War and thus came to be regarded as the North American theater of that war...

 (1754 to 1763). The Acadia region to which modern Cajuns trace their origin consisted largely of what are now Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

 and the other Maritime provinces, plus parts of eastern Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

 and northern Maine
Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

. Since their establishment in Louisiana the Cajuns have developed their own dialect, Cajun French
Cajun French
Cajun French is a variety or dialects of the French language spoken primarily in Louisiana, specifically in the southern and southwestern parishes....

, and developed a vibrant culture including folkways, music
Cajun music
Cajun music, an emblematic music of Louisiana, is rooted in the ballads of the French-speaking Acadians of Canada. Cajun music is often mentioned in tandem with the Creole-based, Cajun-influenced zydeco form, both of Acadiana origin...

, and cuisine
Cajun cuisine
Cajun cuisine is the style of cooking named for the French-speaking Acadian or "Cajun" immigrants deported by the British from Acadia in Canada to the Acadiana region of Louisiana, USA. It is what could be called a rustic cuisine — locally available ingredients predominate, and preparation...

.

Acadia


The origin of the designation Acadia
Acadia
Acadia was the name given to lands in a portion of the French colonial empire of New France, in northeastern North America that included parts of eastern Quebec, the Maritime provinces, and modern-day Maine. At the end of the 16th century, France claimed territory stretching as far south as...

 is credited to the explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano, who on his sixteenth century map applied the ancient Greek name "Arcadia
Arcadia
Arcadia is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the administrative region of Peloponnese. It is situated in the central and eastern part of the Peloponnese peninsula. It takes its name from the mythological character Arcas. In Greek mythology, it was the home of the god Pan...

" to the entire Atlantic coast north of Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

. "Arcadia
Arcadia (utopia)
Arcadia refers to a vision of pastoralism and harmony with nature. The term is derived from the Greek province of the same name which dates to antiquity; the province's mountainous topography and sparse population of pastoralists later caused the word Arcadia to develop into a poetic byword for an...

" derives from the Arcadia district
Arcadia
Arcadia is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the administrative region of Peloponnese. It is situated in the central and eastern part of the Peloponnese peninsula. It takes its name from the mythological character Arcas. In Greek mythology, it was the home of the god Pan...

 in Greece which since Classical antiquity
Classical antiquity
Classical antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ancient Greece and ancient Rome, collectively known as the Greco-Roman world...

 had the extended meanings of "refuge" or "idyllic place". The Dictionary of Canadian Biography says: "In the 17th century Champlain fixed its present orthography, with the 'r' omitted, and (the Canadian historian) W.F.Ganong
William Francis Ganong
William Francis Ganong, M.A., Ph.D., LL.D., F.R.S.C., was a Canadian botanist, historian and cartographer. His botany career was spent mainly as a professor at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts...

 has shown its gradual progress northwards, in a succession of maps, to its resting place in the Atlantic Provinces."

Ethnic group of national origin


The Cajuns retain a unique dialect of the French language and numerous other cultural traits that distinguish them as an ethnic group. Cajuns were officially recognized by the U.S. government as a national ethnic group in 1980 per a discrimination lawsuit filed in federal district court. Presided over by Judge Edwin Hunter, the case, known as Roach v. Dresser Industries Valve and Instrument Division (494 F.Supp. 215, D.C. La., 1980), hinged on the issue of the Cajuns' ethnicity. Significantly, Judge Hunter held in his ruling that:

History of Acadian ancestors


The British Conquest of Acadia
Siege of Port Royal (1710)
The Siege of Port Royal , also known as the Conquest of Acadia, was conducted by British regular and provincial forces under the command of Francis Nicholson against a French Acadian garrison under the command of Daniel d'Auger de Subercase, at the Acadian capital, Port Royal...

 happened in 1710. Over the next forty-five years, the Acadians refused to sign an unconditional oath of allegiance to Britain. During this time period Acadians participated in various militia operations against the British and maintained vital supply lines to the French Fortress of Louisbourg and Fort Beausejour
Fort Beauséjour
Fort Beauséjour, was built during Father Le Loutre's War from 1751-1755; it is located at the Isthmus of Chignecto in present-day Aulac, New Brunswick, Canada...

. During the French and Indian War
French and Indian War
The French and Indian War is the common American name for the war between Great Britain and France in North America from 1754 to 1763. In 1756, the war erupted into the world-wide conflict known as the Seven Years' War and thus came to be regarded as the North American theater of that war...

 (part of the Seven Years War and known by that name in Canada and Europe), the British sought to neutralize the Acadian military threat and to interrupt their vital supply lines to Louisbourg by deporting Acadians from Acadia. During 1755-1763 Acadia
Acadia
Acadia was the name given to lands in a portion of the French colonial empire of New France, in northeastern North America that included parts of eastern Quebec, the Maritime provinces, and modern-day Maine. At the end of the 16th century, France claimed territory stretching as far south as...

 consisted of parts of present-day Canada: Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

, New Brunswick
New Brunswick
New Brunswick is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the only province in the federation that is constitutionally bilingual . The provincial capital is Fredericton and Saint John is the most populous city. Greater Moncton is the largest Census Metropolitan Area...

 and Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island is a Canadian province consisting of an island of the same name, as well as other islands. The maritime province is the smallest in the nation in both land area and population...

. The deportation of the Acadians has become known as the Great Upheaval
Great Upheaval
The Expulsion of the Acadians was the forced removal by the British of the Acadian people from present day Canadian Maritime provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island...

 or Le Grand Dérangement.

The Acadians' migration from Canada was spurred by the Treaty of Paris (1763)
Treaty of Paris (1763)
The Treaty of Paris, often called the Peace of Paris, or the Treaty of 1763, was signed on 10 February 1763, by the kingdoms of Great Britain, France and Spain, with Portugal in agreement. It ended the French and Indian War/Seven Years' War...

 which ended the war. The treaty terms provided 18 months for unrestrained emigration. Many Acadians moved to the region of the Atakapa
Atakapa
The Atakapan people are a Southeastern culture of Native American tribes who spoke Atakapa and historically lived along the Gulf of Mexico. They called themselves the Ishak, pronounced "ee-SHAK", which translates as "The People". Although the people were decimated by infectious disease after...

 in present-day Louisiana, often travelling via the French Colony of Saint-Domingue (present day Haiti
Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

). Joseph Broussard
Joseph Broussard
Joseph Gaurhept Broussard , also known as Beausoleil, was a leader of the Acadian people in Acadia; later Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Broussard organized a resistance movement against the forced Expulsion of the Acadians...

 led the first group of 200 Acadians to arrive in Louisiana on February 27, 1765 aboard the Santo Domingo. On April 8, 1765, he was appointed militia captain and commander of the "Acadians of the Atakapas" region in St. Martinville
St. Martinville, Louisiana
St. Martinville is a city in and the parish seat of St. Martin Parish, Louisiana, United States. It lies on Bayou Teche, sixteen miles south of Breaux Bridge, eighteen miles southeast of Lafayette, and nine miles north of New Iberia. The population was 6,989 at the 2000 census. It is part of the...

. Some of the settlers wrote to their family scattered around the Atlantic to encourage them to join them at New Orleans. For example, Jean-Baptiste Semer, wrote to his father in France:
The Acadians were scattered throughout the eastern seaboard. Families were split and put on ships with different destinations. Many ended up west of the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 in what was then French-colonized
French colonization of the Americas
The French colonization of the Americas began in the 16th century, and continued in the following centuries as France established a colonial empire in the Western Hemisphere. France founded colonies in much of eastern North America, on a number of Caribbean islands, and in South America...

 Louisiana, including territory as far north as Dakota territory
The Dakotas
The Dakotas is a collective term that refers to the U.S. states of North Dakota and South Dakota together. The term has been used historically to describe the Dakota Territory, and is continued to be used to describe the collective heritage, culture, geography, fauna, sociology, the economy, and...

. France had ceded the colony to Spain in 1762
Spanish colonization of the Americas
Colonial expansion under the Spanish Empire was initiated by the Spanish conquistadores and developed by the Monarchy of Spain through its administrators and missionaries. The motivations for colonial expansion were trade and the spread of the Christian faith through indigenous conversions...

, prior to their defeat by Britain and two years before the first Acadians began settling in Louisiana. The interim French officials provided land and supplies to the new settlers. The Spanish governor, Bernardo de Gálvez, later proved to be hospitable, permitting the Acadians to continue to speak their language, practice their native religion, Roman Catholicism
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

—which was also the official religion of Spain—and otherwise pursue their livelihoods with minimal interference. Some families and individuals did travel north through the Louisiana territory to set up homes as far north as Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

. Cajuns fought in the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

. Although they fought for Spanish General Galvez, their contribution to the winning of the war has been recognized.

"Galvez leaves New Orleans with an army of Spanish regulars and the Louisiana militia made up of 600 Cajun volunteers and captures the British strongholds of Fort Bute
Capture of Fort Bute
The Capture of Fort Bute signalled the opening of Spanish intervention in the American Revolutionary War on the side of France and the United States. Mustering an ad hoc army of Spanish regulars, Acadian militia, and native levies under Gilbert Antoine de St...

 at Bayou Manchac
Bayou Manchac
Bayou Manchac is an bayou in southeast Louisiana. This bayou was once a very important waterway linking the Mississippi River to the Amite River.-Exploration:...

, across from the Acadian settlement at St. Gabriel. And on September 21, they attack and capture Baton Rouge
Battle of Baton Rouge (1779)
The Battle of Baton Rouge was a brief siege during the American Revolutionary War that was decided on September 21, 1779. Baton Rouge was the second British outpost to fall to Spanish arms during Bernardo de Gálvez's march into British West Florida....

."

A review of participating soldiers shows many common Cajun names among those who fought in the battles of Baton Rouge and West Florida. The Galvez Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution
Daughters of the American Revolution
The Daughters of the American Revolution is a lineage-based membership organization for women who are descended from a person involved in United States' independence....

 was formed in memory of those soldiers. The Acadians' joining the fight against the British was partially a reaction to the British having evicted them from Acadia.

The Spanish colonial government settled the earliest group of Acadian exiles west of New Orleans, in what is now south-central Louisiana—an area known at the time as Attakapas, and later the center of the Acadiana
Acadiana
Acadiana, or The Heart of Acadiana, is the official name given to the French Louisiana region that is home to a large Francophone population. Of the 64 parishes that make up Louisiana, 22 named parishes and other parishes of similar cultural environment, make up the intrastate...

 region. As Brasseaux wrote, "The oldest of the pioneer communities . . . Fausse Point, was established near present-day Loreauville by late June, 1765." The Acadians shared the swamps, bayous and prairies with the Attakapa and Chitimacha
Chitimacha
The Chitimacha are a Native American federally recognized tribe that lives in the U.S. state of Louisiana, mainly in St. Mary Parish. They currently number about 720 people. The Chitimacha language is a language isolate.- History :The Chitimacha's historic home was the southern Louisiana coast...

Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 tribes.

After the end of the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

, about 1,500 more Acadians arrived in New Orleans. About 3,000 Acadians had been deported to France during the Great Upheaval. In 1785 about 1,500 were authorized to emigrate to Louisiana, often to be reunited with their families, or because they could not settle in France.
Living in a relatively isolated region until the early 1900s, Cajuns today are largely assimilated into the mainstream society and culture. Some Cajuns live in communities outside of Louisiana. Also, some people identify themselves as Cajun culturally despite lacking Acadian ancestry.

Ethnic mixing and alternate origins


Not all Cajuns descend solely from Acadian exiles who settled in south Louisiana in the eighteenth century, as many have intermarried with other groups. Their members now include people with ancestry of British, Spanish, German, Italian, Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

, Métis
Métis
A Métis is a person born to parents who belong to different groups defined by visible physical differences, regarded as racial, or the descendant of such persons. The term is of French origin, and also is a cognate of mestizo in Spanish, mestiço in Portuguese, and mestee in English...

 and French Creole
Louisiana Creole people
Louisiana Creole people refers to those who are descended from the colonial settlers in Louisiana, especially those of French and Spanish descent. The term was first used during colonial times by the settlers to refer to those who were born in the colony, as opposed to those born in the Old World...

 settlers. Historian Carl A. Brasseaux asserted that it was this process of intermarriage that created the Cajuns in the first place.

Non-Acadian French Creole
Louisiana Creole people
Louisiana Creole people refers to those who are descended from the colonial settlers in Louisiana, especially those of French and Spanish descent. The term was first used during colonial times by the settlers to refer to those who were born in the colony, as opposed to those born in the Old World...

s in rural areas were absorbed into Cajun communities. Some Cajun parishes, such as Evangeline and Avoyelles, possess relatively few inhabitants of Acadian origin. Their populations descend in many cases from settlers who migrated to the region from Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

, Mobile
Mobile, Alabama
Mobile is the third most populous city in the Southern US state of Alabama and is the county seat of Mobile County. It is located on the Mobile River and the central Gulf Coast of the United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 during the 2010 census. It is the largest...

, or directly from France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. Theirs is regarded as the purest dialect of French spoken within Acadiana. Regardless, it is generally acknowledged that Acadian influences have prevailed in most sections of south Louisiana.

Many Cajuns also have ancestors who were not French. Many of the original settlers in French Acadia were English
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

, for example the Melansons (originally Mallinson). Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

, German, Greek, Spanish
Spanish people
The Spanish are citizens of the Kingdom of Spain. Within Spain, there are also a number of vigorous nationalisms and regionalisms, reflecting the country's complex history....

 Canary Islanders
Isleños
Isleño is the Spanish word meaning "islander." The Isleños are the descendants of Canary Island immigrants to Louisiana, Cuba, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and other parts of the Americas....

, and Italian
Italian people
The Italian people are an ethnic group that share a common Italian culture, ancestry and speak the Italian language as a mother tongue. Within Italy, Italians are defined by citizenship, regardless of ancestry or country of residence , and are distinguished from people...

 colonists began to settle in Louisiana before and after the Louisiana Purchase
Louisiana Purchase
The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition by the United States of America of of France's claim to the territory of Louisiana in 1803. The U.S...

, particularly on the German Coast
German Coast
The German Coast was a region of early Louisiana settlement located above New Orleans on the Mississippi River – specifically, from east to west, in St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, and St. James parishes of present-day Acadiana. The four settlements along the coast were Karlstein, Hoffen,...

 along the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 north of New Orleans. People of Latin American origin, a number of early Filipino
Filipino people
The Filipino people or Filipinos are an Austronesian ethnic group native to the islands of the Philippines. There are about 92 million Filipinos in the Philippines, and about 11 million living outside the Philippines ....

 settlers (notably in Saint Malo, Louisiana), known as "Manilamen," from the annual cross-Pacific
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 Galleon
Galleon
A galleon was a large, multi-decked sailing ship used primarily by European states from the 16th to 18th centuries. Whether used for war or commerce, they were generally armed with the demi-culverin type of cannon.-Etymology:...

 or Manila Galleon
Manila Galleon
The Manila galleons or Manila-Acapulco galleons were Spanish trading ships that sailed once or twice per year across the Pacific Ocean between Manila in the Philippines, and Acapulco, New Spain . The name changed reflecting the city that the ship was sailing from...

 trade with neighboring Acapulco, Mexico, descendants of African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

 slaves, and some Cuban American
Cuban American
A Cuban American is a United States citizen who traces his or her "national origin" to Cuba. Cuban Americans are also considered native born Americans with Cuban parents or Cuban-born persons who were raised and educated in US...

s have also settled along the Gulf Coast
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

 and, in some cases, intermarried into Cajun families. Anglo-American
Anglo
Anglo is a prefix indicating a relation to the Angles, England or the English people, as in the terms Anglo-Saxon, Anglo-American, Anglo-Celtic, Anglo-African and Anglo-Indian. It is often used alone, somewhat loosely, to refer to people of British Isles descent in The Americas, Australia and...

 settlers in the region often were assimilated into Cajun communities, especially those who arrived before the English language became predominant in southern Louisiana.

One obvious result of this cultural mixture is the variety of surnames that are common among the Cajun population. Surnames of the original Acadian settlers (which are documented) have been augmented by French and non-French family names that have become part of Cajun communities. The spelling of many family names has changed over time. (See, for example, Eaux).

Modern preservation and renewed connections



During the early part of the 20th century, attempts were made to suppress Cajun culture by measures such as forbidding the use of the Cajun French language in schools. After the Compulsory Education Act forced Cajun children to attend formal schools, American teachers threatened, punished, and sometimes beat their Cajun students in an attempt to force them to use English (a language many of them had not been exposed to before). During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Cajuns often served as French interpreters for American forces in France; this helped to overcome prejudice.

In 1968 the organization of Council for the Development of French in Louisiana
Council for the Development of French in Louisiana
The Council for the Development of French in Louisiana, or CODOFIL — known in French as le Conseil pour le développement du français en Louisiane and Konséy pou Dévelopmen di françé en Lwizyàn in Creole — is a state agency created in 1968 by the Louisiana legislature...

 (CODOFIL) was founded to preserve the French language in Louisiana. Besides advocating for their legal rights, Cajuns also recovered for themselves a sense of ethnic pride and appreciation for their ancestry. Since the mid-1950s, relations between the Cajuns of the U.S. Gulf Coast and Acadians in the Maritimes
Maritimes
The Maritime provinces, also called the Maritimes or the Canadian Maritimes, is a region of Eastern Canada consisting of three provinces, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. On the Atlantic coast, the Maritimes are a subregion of Atlantic Canada, which also includes the...

 and New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

 have been renewed, forming an Acadian identity common to Louisiana, New England, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.

State Senator Dudley LeBlanc ("Coozan Dud", a Cajun slang nickname for "Cousin Dudley") took a group of Cajuns to Nova Scotia in 1955 for the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the expulsion. The Congrès Mondial Acadien
Acadian World Congress
The Acadian World Congress, or Le Congrès Mondial Acadien, is a festival of Acadian and Cajun culture and history, held every five years. It is also informally known as the Acadian Reunion...

, a large gathering of Acadians and Cajuns held every five years since 1994, is another example of continued unity.

Sociologists Jacques Henry and Carl L. Bankston III have maintained that the preservation of Cajun ethnic identity is a result of the social class of Cajuns. During the eighteenth and nineteenth century, "Cajuns" came to be identified as the French-speaking rural people of Southwestern Louisiana. Over the course of the twentieth century, the descendants of these rural people became the working class of their region. This change in the social and economic circumstances of families in Southwestern Louisiana created nostalgia for an idealized version of the past. Henry and Bankston point out that "Cajun", which was formerly considered an insulting term, became a term of pride among Louisianans by the beginning of the twenty-first century.

Culture



Geography



Geography had a strong correlation to Cajun lifestyles. Most Cajuns resided in Acadiana
Acadiana
Acadiana, or The Heart of Acadiana, is the official name given to the French Louisiana region that is home to a large Francophone population. Of the 64 parishes that make up Louisiana, 22 named parishes and other parishes of similar cultural environment, make up the intrastate...

, where their descendants are still predominant. Cajun populations today are found also in the area southwest of New Orleans
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is a major United States port and the largest city and metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana. The New Orleans metropolitan area has a population of 1,235,650 as of 2009, the 46th largest in the USA. The New Orleans – Metairie – Bogalusa combined statistical area has a population...

 and scattered in areas adjacent to the French Louisiana
French Louisiana
The term French Louisiana refers to two distinct regions:* first, to colonial French Louisiana, comprising the massive, middle section of North America claimed by France; and,...

 region, such as to the north in Alexandria, Louisiana
Alexandria, Louisiana
Alexandria is a city in and the parish seat of Rapides Parish, Louisiana, United States. It lies on the south bank of the Red River in almost the exact geographic center of the state. It is the principal city of the Alexandria metropolitan area which encompasses all of Rapides and Grant parishes....

. Over the years, many Cajuns and Creoles also migrated to the Beaumont and Port Arthur area
Beaumont–Port Arthur metropolitan area
The Beaumont–Port Arthur Metropolitan Area is defined by the United States Census Bureau as a three-county region in Southeast Texas, east of the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area. The area is also known as the Golden Triangle...

 of Southeast Texas
Southeast Texas
Southeast Texas is a subregion of East Texas located in the southeast corner of the U.S. state of Texas. The subregion is geographically centered around the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown and Beaumont–Port Arthur metropolitan areas...

, in especially large numbers as they followed oil-related jobs in the 1970s and 1980s, when oil companies moved jobs from Louisiana to Texas. However, the city of Lafayette
Lafayette, Louisiana
Lafayette is a city in and the parish seat of Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, United States, on the Vermilion River. The population was 120,623 at the 2010 census...

 is referred to as "The Heart of Acadiana" because of its location, and it is a major center of Cajun-Creole culture.

Music



Cajun music is evolved from its roots in the music of the French-speaking Catholics of Canada. In earlier years the fiddle was the predominant instrument, but gradually the accordion
Accordion
The accordion is a box-shaped musical instrument of the bellows-driven free-reed aerophone family, sometimes referred to as a squeezebox. A person who plays the accordion is called an accordionist....

 has come to share the limelight. Cajun music gained national attention in 2007, when the Grammy Award for Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album
Grammy Award for Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album
The Grammy Award for Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album was an honor presented to recording artists at the 50th, 51st, 52nd and 53rd Grammy Awards for quality zydeco or cajun music albums...

 category was created.

Cuisine


Outside Louisiana, and even within, some food writers wish to distinguish between Cajun
Cajun cuisine
Cajun cuisine is the style of cooking named for the French-speaking Acadian or "Cajun" immigrants deported by the British from Acadia in Canada to the Acadiana region of Louisiana, USA. It is what could be called a rustic cuisine — locally available ingredients predominate, and preparation...

 and Louisiana Creole cuisine
Louisiana Creole cuisine
Louisiana Creole cuisine is a style of cooking originating in Louisiana which blends French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Greek, Asian Indian, Native American, and African influences, as well as general Southern cuisine...

, maintaining that Creole dishes tend to be more sophisticated and continental while Cajun food is rural, more seasoned, sometimes spicy, and tends to be heartier. This distinction is based mostly on encounters with the cuisines as encountered in eateries in New Orleans. Outside the city, Cajuns and Creoles often intermingle socially and culturally, and chances are that the cooking of Cajuns and Creoles living in Lawtell for example, have more in common with each other than the Creole dishes of a Lawtell resident and one from Isle Brevelle. Both cuisines tend to focus on local ingredients like locally available wild game (e.g., duck, rabbit), vegetables (e.g., okra
Okra
Okra is a flowering plant in the mallow family. It is valued for its edible green seed pods. The geographical origin of okra is disputed, with supporters of South Asian, Ethiopian and West African origins...

, mirlitons
Chayote
The chayote , also known as christophene, vegetable pear, mirliton, pear squash, christophine , chouchoute , choko , starprecianté, citrayota, citrayote , chuchu , chow chow , cho cho , sayote ,...

), and grain (e.g., rice), which is where they remain distinctive, since many of these ingredients have never truly entered American mainstream cuisine and thus were available to displace local traditions.

Since many Cajuns and Creoles were farmers and not especially wealthy, they were known for not wasting any part of a butchered animal. Cracklins are a popular snack made by frying pork skins or fat and boudin
Boudin
Boudin describes a number of different types of sausage used in French, Belgian, German, French Canadian, Creole and Cajun cuisine.-Types:*Boudin blanc: A white sausage made of pork without the blood. Pork liver and heart meat are typically included...

 is created from the ground-up leftover parts of a hog after the best meat is taken, which is mixed with cooked rice. It is usually formed into a sausage, but can also be rolled in a ball and deep-fried called a boudin ball.

Language



Cajun French is a variety
Variety (linguistics)
In sociolinguistics a variety, also called a lect, is a specific form of a language or language cluster. This may include languages, dialects, accents, registers, styles or other sociolinguistic variation, as well as the standard variety itself...

 or dialect
Dialect
The term dialect is used in two distinct ways, even by linguists. One usage refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors,...

 of the French language
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 spoken primarily in the Acadiana
Acadiana
Acadiana, or The Heart of Acadiana, is the official name given to the French Louisiana region that is home to a large Francophone population. Of the 64 parishes that make up Louisiana, 22 named parishes and other parishes of similar cultural environment, make up the intrastate...

 region of Louisiana. At one time there were as many as seven dialects spread across the Cajun Heartland.

Recent documentation has been made of Cajun English
Cajun English
Cajun English is the dialect of English spoken by Cajuns living in southern Louisiana and, to some extent, in eastern Texas. Cajun English is significantly influenced by Cajun French, the historical language of the Cajun people, a direct descendant of Acadian French, which differs somewhat from...

, a French-influenced dialect of English spoken by Cajuns, either as a second language, in the case of the older members of the community, or as a first language by younger Cajuns.

Religious traditions


Cajuns are predominantly Roman Catholic. However, Protestant and Evangelical
Evangelicalism
Evangelicalism is a Protestant Christian movement which began in Great Britain in the 1730s and gained popularity in the United States during the series of Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th century.Its key commitments are:...

 Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 denominations have made inroads among Cajuns, but not without controversy—many Cajuns will shun family members if they convert to any form of Protestantism because of the extreme persecution the Cajuns were subjected to by Protestants during the Great Expulsion of 1755, and throughout their history for maintaining their Catholicism.

The 1992 cookbook, Who's Your Mama, Are You Catholic and Can You Make a Roux by Cajun Chef Marcelle Bienvenue outlines long-standing beliefs that Cajun identity was rooted in community, cuisine, and very specifically, devout Roman Catholicism. Traditional Catholic religious observances such as Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
The terms "Mardi Gras" , "Mardi Gras season", and "Carnival season", in English, refer to events of the Carnival celebrations, beginning on or after Epiphany and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday...

, Lent
Lent
In the Christian tradition, Lent is the period of the liturgical year from Ash Wednesday to Easter. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer – through prayer, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial – for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and...

, and Holy Week
Holy Week
Holy Week in Christianity is the last week of Lent and the week before Easter...

 are integral to many Cajun communities.

Mardi Gras


Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras
The terms "Mardi Gras" , "Mardi Gras season", and "Carnival season", in English, refer to events of the Carnival celebrations, beginning on or after Epiphany and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday...

, (French for "Fat Tuesday", also known as Shrove Tuesday
Shrove Tuesday
Shrove Tuesday is a term used in English-speaking countries, especially in Ireland, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, Germany, and parts of the United States for the day preceding Ash Wednesday, the first day of the season of fasting and prayer called Lent.The...

), is the day before Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday, in the calendar of Western Christianity, is the first day of Lent and occurs 46 days before Easter. It is a moveable fast, falling on a different date each year because it is dependent on the date of Easter...

, which marks the beginning of Lent
Lent
In the Christian tradition, Lent is the period of the liturgical year from Ash Wednesday to Easter. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer – through prayer, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial – for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and...

, a 40 day period of fasting and reflection in preparation for Easter Sunday. Mardi Gras was historically a time to use up the foods that were not to be used during Lent, including fat, eggs, and meat.

Mardi Gras celebrations in rural Acadiana are distinct from the more widely known celebrations in New Orleans
New Orleans Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana, is a Carnival celebration well-known throughout the world.The New Orleans Carnival season, with roots in preparing for the start of the Christian season of Lent, starts after Twelfth Night, on Epiphany . It is a season of parades, balls , and king cake parties...

 and other metropolitan areas. A distinct feature of the Cajun celebration centers on the Courir de Mardi Gras
Courir de Mardi Gras
The Courir de Mardi Gras is a traditional Mardi Gras event held in many Cajun communities of south Louisiana on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. Courir de Mardi Gras is French for "Fat Tuesday Run". The rural Mardi Gras celebration is based on early begging rituals, similar to those still...

(translated: fat Tuesday run). A group of people, usually on horseback and wearing capuchon
Capuchon
A capuchon is a cone-shaped ceremonial hat worn during the Mardi Gras celebration in the Cajun areas of southwestern Louisiana, known as the Courir de Mardi Gras. The rural celebration is based on early begging rituals, similar to those still celebrated by mummers, wassailers and celebrants of...

s (a cone-shaped ceremonial hat) and traditional costumes, will approach a farmhouse and ask for something for the community gumbo pot. Often, the farmer or his wife will allow the riders to have a chicken, if they can catch it. The group then puts on a show, comically attempting to catch the chicken set out in a large open area. Songs are sung, jokes are told, and skits are acted out. When the chicken is caught, it is added to the pot at the end of the day. The courir held in the small town of Mamou
Mamou, Louisiana
Mamou is a town in Evangeline Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 3,566 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Mamou is located at ....

 has become well known. This tradition has much in common with the observance of La Chandeleur, or Candlemas (February 2), by Acadians in Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

.

Easter


On Pâques (French for Easter
Easter
Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

), a game called pâquer, or pâque-pâque was played. Contestants selected hard-boiled eggs, paired off, and tapped the eggs together — the player whose egg did not crack was declared the winner. This is an old European tradition that has survived in Acadia until today. Today Easter is still celebrated by Cajuns with the traditional game of 'paque', but is now also celebrated in the same fashion as Christians throughout the United States with candy-filled baskets, "Easter bunny
Easter Bunny
The Easter Bunny or Easter Rabbit is a character depicted as a rabbit bringing Easter eggs, who sometimes is depicted with clothes...

" stories, dyed eggs
Easter egg
Easter eggs are special eggs that are often given to celebrate Easter or springtime.The oldest tradition is to use dyed or painted chicken eggs, but a modern custom is to substitute chocolate eggs, or plastic eggs filled with confectionery such as jelly beans...

, and Easter Egg hunts.

Folk beliefs


One folk custom is belief in a traiteur
Traiteur
In French Acadiana, the term traiteur describes a man or woman who practises what is sometimes called faith healing. A traiteur is Cajun healer, or else a traditional healer of the French-speaking Houma Tribe, whose primary method of treatment involves using the laying on of hands...

, or Cajun healer, whose primary method of treatment involves the laying on of hands and of prayers. An important part of Cajun folk religion, the traiteur is a faith healer who combines Catholic prayer and medicinal remedies to treat a variety of ailments, including earaches, toothaches, warts, tumors, angina, and bleeding. Another is in the Rougarou
Rougarou
The Rougarou , is a legendary creature in Laurentian French communities linked to European notions of the werewolf.-Versions:...

, a version of a Loup Garou (French for werewolf
Werewolf
A werewolf, also known as a lycanthrope , is a mythological or folkloric human with the ability to shapeshift into a wolf or an anthropomorphic wolf-like creature, either purposely or after being placed under a curse...

), that will hunt down and kill Catholics that do not follow the rules of Lent
Lent
In the Christian tradition, Lent is the period of the liturgical year from Ash Wednesday to Easter. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer – through prayer, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial – for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and...

. In some Cajun communities the Loup Garou of legend have taken on an almost protective role. Children are warned that Loup Garou can read souls, and that they only hunt and kill evil men and women and misbehaved horses.

Celebrations and gatherings


Cajuns, along with other Cajun Country residents, have a reputation for a joie de vivre (French for "joy of living"), in which hard work is appreciated as much as "passing a good time."

Community gatherings


In the culture, a coup de main (French for "to give a hand") is an occasion when the community
Community
The term community has two distinct meanings:*a group of interacting people, possibly living in close proximity, and often refers to a group that shares some common values, and is attributed with social cohesion within a shared geographical location, generally in social units larger than a household...

 gathers in order to assist one of their members with time-consuming or arduous tasks. Examples might include a barn raising
Barn raising
A barn raising is an event during which community men come together to assemble a barn for one or more of its households, with the support of women. The event was particularly common in 18th- and 19th-century rural North America. In the past, a barn was often the first, largest, and most costly...

, harvest
Harvest
Harvest is the process of gathering mature crops from the fields. Reaping is the cutting of grain or pulse for harvest, typically using a scythe, sickle, or reaper...

s, or assistance for the elderly or sick.

Festivals


Laissez les bons temps rouler is a more than a cliché phrase of the local culture, which means "let the good times roll", as nearly every village, town and city of any size has a yearly festival, celebrating an important part of the local culture and economy. The majority of Cajun festivals include a fais do-do ("go to sleep" in French, originating from encouraging children to fall asleep in the rafters of the dance hall as the parents danced late into the night) or street dance, usually to a live local band. Crowds at these festivals can range from a few hundred to more than 100,000.

Other festivals outside of Louisiana

  • In Texas, the Winnie Rice Festival and other celebrations often highlight the Cajun influence in Southeast Texas
    Southeast Texas
    Southeast Texas is a subregion of East Texas located in the southeast corner of the U.S. state of Texas. The subregion is geographically centered around the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown and Beaumont–Port Arthur metropolitan areas...

    .
  • Major Cajun/Zydeco festivals are held annually in Rhode Island, which does not have a sizable Cajun population but is home to many Franco-Americans of Québécois and Acadian descent. It features Cajun culture and food, as well as authentic Louisiana musical acts both famous and unknown, drawing attendance not only from the strong Cajun/Zydeco music scene in Rhode Island, Connecticut
    Connecticut
    Connecticut is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south .Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately...

    , New York City
    New York City
    New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

     and California
    California
    California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

    , but from all over the world. In recent years the festival became so popular that there are now several such large summer festivals near the Connecticut-Rhode Island border: The Great Connecticut Cajun and Zydeco Music & Arts Festival, The Blast From The Bayou Cajun and Zydeco Festival, Rhythm & Roots Festival also in California the Cajun/Zydeco Festival; Bay Area Ardenwood Historic Farm, Fremont, Calif. and The Simi Valley Cajun, Creole Music Festival.

Tributes


Documentary films
  • Spend it All (1971, color) director: Les Blank
    Les Blank
    Les Blank is an American documentary filmmaker best known for his portraits of American traditional musicians....

     with Skip Gerson
  • Hot Pepper (1973, color) director: Les Blank
  • J'ai Été Au Bal (English: I Have Been To the Ball), by Les Blank, Chris Strachwitz & Maureen Gosling; narrated by Barry Jean Ancelet
    Barry Jean Ancelet
    Barry Jean Ancelet is a Cajun folklorist and expert in Cajun music and Cajun French. He has written several books, and under the pseudonym Jean Arceneaux he has written Cajun French poetry and lyrics to Cajun French songs.- Education and career :...

     and Michael Doucet
    Michael Doucet
    Michael Doucet is a Cajun fiddler, singer and songwriter who founded the Cajun band BeauSoleil from Lafayette, Louisiana.In 2005 Doucet was one of 12 recipients of the National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts. The NEA award, which recognizes artistic excellence, cultural...

     (Brazos Films). Louisiana French and Zydeco music documentary.
  • Louisiana Story
    Louisiana Story
    Louisiana Story is a 78-minute black-and-white American film. Although the events and characters depicted are fictional, it is often misidentified as a documentary film. In fact, it is a docufiction. The script was written by Frances H. Flaherty and Robert J. Flaherty, and also directed by Robert...

    (1948, black and white) director: Robert Flaherty. Further addressed in 2006 documentary Revisiting Flaherty's Louisiana Story, by a group at Louisiana State University.


Film
  • Southern Comfort (film)
    Southern Comfort (film)
    Southern Comfort is an American action/thriller film directed by Walter Hill, working from a script by Hill, longtime collaborator David Giler, and Michael Kane. It featured Keith Carradine, Powers Boothe, Alan Autry, Les Lannom, Peter Coyote, T. K...

    (1981, color) director: Walter Hill, starring Powers Boothe
    Powers Boothe
    Powers Allen Boothe is an American television and film actor. Some of his most notable roles include his Emmy-winning 1980 portrayal of Jim Jones and his turn as Cy Tolliver on Deadwood, as well as Vice-President Noah Daniels on 24....

  • Belizaire the Cajun
    Belizaire the Cajun
    Belizaire the Cajun is a 1986 film directed by Glen Pitre and starring Armand Assante. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1986 Cannes Film Festival....

    (1986, color) director: Glen Pitre
    Glen Pitre
    Glen Pitre is an American screenwriter and film director. He has written nine films since 1986. His debut film Belizaire the Cajun was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1986 Cannes Film Festival.-Filmography:...

    , starring Armand Assante
    Armand Assante
    -Personal life:Assante was born in New York City and raised in Cornwall, New York, the son of Katherine , a music teacher and poet, and Armand Anthony Assante, Sr., a painter and artist. His father was Italian and his mother was Irish, and was raised in a devoutly Roman Catholic family...

  • Little Chenier
    Little Chenier
    Little Chenier is a 2006 film written by Jace Johnson and Bethany Ashton, and directed by Ashton. It is set in the bayous of Louisiana, and stars Johnathon Schaech, Frederick Koehler, Tamara Braun, Jeremy Davidson, Clifton Collins Jr., & Chris Mulkey. The film completed production in 2006 but had...

    (2006, color) director: Bethany Ashton, starring Johnathon Schaech
    Johnathon Schaech
    Johnathon Schaech is an American actor, writer, and director.-Early life:Schaech was born in Edgewood, Maryland to Joseph, a Baltimore City law enforcement officer, and Joanne Schaech, a human resources executive. He is of German and Italian descent, and was raised Roman Catholic...



Literature
  • Evangeline
    Evangeline
    Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie, is an epic poem published in 1847 by the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The poem follows an Acadian girl named Evangeline and her search for her lost love Gabriel, set during the time of the Expulsion of the Acadians.The idea for the poem came from...

    (1847), an epic poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was an American poet and educator whose works include "Paul Revere's Ride", The Song of Hiawatha, and Evangeline...

     loosely based on the events surrounding the 1755 deportation. It became an American classic, and also contributed to a rebirth of Acadian identity in both Maritime Canada and in Louisiana.
  • Bayou Folk (1894) by Kate Chopin
    Kate Chopin
    Kate Chopin, born Katherine O'Flaherty , was an American author of short stories and novels. She is now considered by some to have been a forerunner of feminist authors of the 20th century....

     who wrote about the Creoles and Cajuns (Acadiens).
  • Children's book author Mary Alice Fontenot
    Mary Alice Fontenot
    Mary Alice Fontenot , born in Eunice, Louisiana, was a noted author of regional children's books, best known for the Clovis Crawfish series published by Pelican Publishing, a collection of eighteen books featuring animals from the Louisiana bayou...

     wrote several volumes on Cajun culture and history.


Songs
  • Jambalaya (On the Bayou)
    Jambalaya (On the Bayou)
    "Jambalaya " is the title of a song written and recorded by American country music singer Hank Williams that was first released in July 1952...

    , (1952), a song credited to Hank Williams. Jambalaya is about life, parties and stereotypical food of Cajun cuisine. The music is taken from the Cajun song "Grand Texas".
  • Acadian Driftwood
    Acadian Driftwood
    "Acadian Driftwood" is a song by The Band. It was the fourth track on the album Northern Lights - Southern Cross."Acadian Driftwood" is a portrayal of the troubled history of Nova Scotia and Acadia, the Great Upheaval...

     (1975), a popular song based on the Acadian Expulsion by Robbie Robertson
    Robbie Robertson
    Robbie Robertson, OC; is a Canadian singer-songwriter, and guitarist. He is best known for his membership as the guitarist and primary songwriter within The Band. He was ranked 59th in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time...

     that appeared on The Band
    The Band
    The Band was an acclaimed and influential roots rock group. The original group consisted of Rick Danko , Garth Hudson , Richard Manuel , and Robbie Robertson , and Levon Helm...

    's album, Northern Lights - Southern Cross
    Northern Lights - Southern Cross
    - Bonus track listing from 2001 Re-release:-Group members and other participants:*Rick Danko: Bass, guitar, fiddle, harmonica, trombone, vocals*Levon Helm: drums, guitars, mandolin, piano, keyboards, vocals...

    .
  • Louisiana Man, an autobiographical song written and performed by Doug Kershaw
    Doug Kershaw
    Doug Kershaw, born January 24, 1936, is an American fiddle player, singer and songwriter from Louisiana. Active since 1949, Kershaw has recorded fifteen albums and charted on the Hot Country Songs charts.- Early life :...

    . It became the first song broadcast back to Earth from the Moon by the astronauts of Apollo 12
    Apollo 12
    Apollo 12 was the sixth manned flight in the American Apollo program and the second to land on the Moon . It was launched on November 14, 1969 from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, four months after Apollo 11. Mission commander Charles "Pete" Conrad and Lunar Module Pilot Alan L...

    . The song not only sold millions of copies but over the years has become the symbol of Cajun music.
  • Jolie Blonde: lyrics & song history of the traditional Cajun waltz (aka Jolie Blon, Jole Blon or Joli Blon) often referred to as "the Cajun National Anthem".
  • Mississippi Queen
    Mississippi Queen
    "Mississippi Queen" is a song by the American rock band Mountain. Considered a rock classic, it was their most successful single, reaching #21 in the Billboard Hot 100 record chart in 1970...

    , 1970 song by Mountain
    Mountain (band)
    Mountain is an American hard rock band that formed in Long Island, New York in 1969. Originally comprising vocalist and guitarist Leslie West, bassist Felix Pappalardi and drummer N. D. Smart, the band broke up in 1972 before reuniting in 1974 and remaining active until today...

     about a Cajun woman visiting from Mississippi
  • Elvis Presley was a Cajun, a song from the 1991 Irish film The Commitments
    The Commitments
    The Commitments is a novel by Irish writer Roddy Doyle, and is the first episode in The Barrytown Trilogy. It is a tale about a group of unemployed young people in the north side of Dublin, Ireland, who start a soul band.-Plot summary:...

    in which a 2-piece band plays along to the lyric "Elvis was a Cajun, he had a Cajun Heart"
  • Amos Moses
    Amos Moses
    Amos Moses is the title of a song written and recorded by American country music artist Jerry Reed. It was released in October 1970 as the fourth and final single from the album, Georgia Sunshine. This record was Reed's highest-charted single on Billboard Hot 100, peaking No. 8...

    , a song by Jerry Reed
    Jerry Reed
    Jerry Reed Hubbard , known professionally as Jerry Reed, was an American country music singer, innovative guitarist, songwriter, and actor who appeared in more than a dozen films...

     about a fictional one-armed alligator-hunting Cajun man.

See also


  • Cajun cuisine
    Cajun cuisine
    Cajun cuisine is the style of cooking named for the French-speaking Acadian or "Cajun" immigrants deported by the British from Acadia in Canada to the Acadiana region of Louisiana, USA. It is what could be called a rustic cuisine — locally available ingredients predominate, and preparation...

  • French Canadians
  • Great Upheaval
    Great Upheaval
    The Expulsion of the Acadians was the forced removal by the British of the Acadian people from present day Canadian Maritime provinces: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island...

  • List of Cajuns

Sources

  • Maria Hebert-Leiter "Becoming Cajun, Becoming American: The Acadian in American Literature from Longfellow to James Lee Burke". Baton Rouge,LA. :Louisiana State University Press
    Louisiana State University Press
    The Louisiana State University Press is a nonprofit book publisher and an academic unit of Louisiana State University. Founded in 1935, the press publishes scholarly, general interest, and regional books as part of the university’s mission to disseminate knowledge and culture...

    , 2009 ISBN 978-0-8071-3435-1
  • Dean Jobb, The Cajuns: A People's Story of Exile and Triumph, John Wiley & Sons, 2005 (published in Canada as The Acadians: A People's Story of Exile and Triumph)

External links