cajun culture facts

The last quarter of the 20th century brought a renewed interest in Cajun culture and traditions, which helped make Cajun style cooking popular worldwide. ." Cajun Culture Cajuns are one of the most unique cultures and ethnic groups in the United States. Wider ties were also maintained with the local community, which often involved homesteads located some miles from one another. Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. Cajun, descendant of Roman Catholic French Canadians whom the British, in the 18th century, drove from the captured French colony of Acadia (now Nova Scotia and adjacent areas) and who settled in the fertile bayou lands of southern Louisiana. Often synonymous with Zydeco music, Cajun music differs in its roots. . In 1968 Lousiana created the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana (CODOFIL) as a mechanism to encourage the teaching of French in public schools. Popular recipes include Maque Choux, a vegetable-based dish with tomatoes, onions, corn, and peppers and Crawfish Etoufee, a thick, often spicy seafood stew. Regular contact with the outside economy, which influenced all regions by about 1920, has changed the traditional economy. Land Tenure. Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. Because of conflicts over which French to teach—standard French or Cajun French—the program has not been a total success, though many Cajun children do participate in French-language programs. See alsoAcadians , Cattle ranching has declined, and sugar cane, rice, cotton, and maize are now the major crops. ETHNONYMS: Karelians or Karjalaiset, Suomalaiset, Tavastians or Hämäläiset Some migrated directly from Acadia, whereas others came after stays in France and the West Indies. Today, Cajun children attend both public and parochial schools and tens of thousands participate in French-language programs in elementary schools. Historically, Louisianians of Acadian descent were also considered to be Louisiana Creoles, although Cajun and Creole are often portrayed as separate identities today. . People from other cultures including the Spanish, Canary Islanders, Indigenous peoples, descendants of enslaved people from Africa, and French Creoles from the Caribbean settled in Louisiana as well during this same time period. Cajun French is the language commonly associated with the Cajun culture, though many Cajuns no longer speak it fluently and its use has declined markedly in the younger generation. Today, Cajun music comes in a variety of styles, the two most prominent being the country-western style and zydeco, which reflects the influence of Black rhythm and blues. Encyclopedia.com. The three Acadian cultural centers of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve share the stories and customs of the Acadians who came to Louisiana and became the Cajuns, people proud of their French roots who adapted to a new land and … Katy Rudolphy is a cartographic technician for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In recent decades, as the region has experienced economic development and population shifts, the boundaries of Acadiana have blurred. Rather, Cajuns generally participated in Louisiana and national politics as voters. . Cajun food is robust, rustic food, found along the bayous of Louisiana, a combination of French and Southern cuisines. ." Retrieved December 21, 2020 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cajun. Despite all these traits, historians, and observers have repeatedly remarked upon two of their distinct ethnic qualities in a very positive light, namely: family ties and hospitality. RELIGION: M…, Finns Cajun culture began with the arrival of French Acadians (the French-speaking people of the territory that is now mainly Nova Scotia in Canada) who migrated to and settled in what is now Louisiana mainly between 1765 and 1785. Both are unique cultural forms, with a French base combined with elements drawn from American Indian, Spanish, African, British, and German cultures. This was still apparent when the Acadians lived in Canada off of the Atlantic coast. ." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language, The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, Flemish . Those in the east grew maize and cotton, supplemented by sweet potatoes. Two governors and other state officials came from the Genteel Acadian ranks in the 1880s. The Cajuns sold the fertile land along the Mississippi River and pushed westward, to modern south-central Louisiana, where they could settle the land for no cost. Industrial Arts, Aspects of the traditional subsistence technology of the 1800s that draw attention today are mainly adaptations to life in the swamp and marshlands. Lafayette: Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana. Children lived at home until they married. ." https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cajun, TOM McARTHUR "CAJUN Demography. Religious Beliefs. Retrieved December 21, 2020 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cajuns. Dances, parties, and other opportunities to have a good time are an integral element of the Cajun life-style. Social cohesiveness in Cajun Communities as well as a general sense of being Cajun was maintained through various informal mechanisms that brought Cajuns together both physically and symbolically. Experts suggest that the traditional culture cannot be understood unless the central role of the Catholic church is considered. Men were the major decision makers in their homes, but if a man died, his wife, not his sons, assumed control. Traditionally, children were raised by the extended family. Cajun The word Cajun originates from the term les Acadians, used to describe French colonists who settled in the Acadia region of Canada, consisting of present-day New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia.With the British conquest of Acadia in the early 1700s, the Acadians were forcibly removed from their homes in what become known as "Le Grand Dérangement," or the Great Upheaval. In the levee-land region, the early Cajun settlers grew maize and rice for consumption and cotton for sale. Cajuns are a group of people largely residing in southern Louisiana, a region rich with the history of several cultures. She holds a B.A. It also borrowed words from Spanish, African languages and American Indian languages ( "bayou" from Choctaw, for example). The late 1800s introduced the accordion to Acadiana as well, expanding the rhythms and sounds of Cajun music. Numerous other festivals are held in Acadiana each year, many of which are harvest festivals focusing on local crops such as sugar cane, rice, crawfish, and shrimp. Preferential community endogamy meant that others in the community often included the wife's kin. Political Organization. POPULATION: About 10.4 million This region includes coastal marshes, swamps, prairies, and levee land. Arts. It is a dialect that is fading away, even in Louisiana where the state legislature banned all French from schools in the 1920s in an attempt to enforce assimilation and the use of English. After Acadians began arriving in Louisiana, perhaps as early as 1756, the population increased rapidly, from about 6,000 in 1810 to 35,000 in 1815 to 270,000 in 1880. The exiled Acadians resettled in many locations including the British North American colonies, France, England, the Caribbean, and for some, a Spanish colony known as Louisiana. As algae covers the 800 acres of Lake Martin in Breaux Bridge, Champagne’s Cajun Swamp Tour gives both locals and visitors a glimpse into the past of Cajun culture, a history … It was brought to Louisiana from the French who migrated to the state from Nova Scotia 250 years ago and used foods, right from the land. Division of Labor. Towns and villages throughout Acadiana celebrate every season with their special blend of music, food and the colorful Cajun heritage. It was not until after World War I that mainstream Society entered Acadiana and began to influence Cajun life. Within the regional class structure, Cajuns were considered better than Blacks but the lowest group of Whites. In the swampland region, fishing and the hunting and gathering of crawfish, ducks, crabs, turtles, frogs, and moss were the major economic activities. This area is known as Acadiana due to the influence from Cajun culture. Identification. It is a blend of blues, R&B and indigineous music. In addition, Roman Catholicism as practiced in Acadiana created an atmosphere that allowed the celebration of life, or "la joie de vivre," so characteristic of Cajun culture. Alternative Names American settlers poured into the Territory soon after, eager to make money. Black Creoles of Louisiana. ETHNONYMS: Flamencos (Spanish), Flandres (French), Flemings, French-Flemish, Northern Belgians, Southern Dutch, Vlaamingen (Dutch), Vlamisch…, Serbs A Brief History of Cajun Music Acadiana is commonly known as French Louisiana, but it is actually a melting pot of rich cultures. . The Creole culture that eventually took hold in Louisiana was an amalgamation of all the cultures that were brought into the area by the various groups of settlers. Kin worked together, helped build each other's houses, went to the same church, had to approve the marriage of female kin, cared for each other's children, and socialized and celebrated together. Language use by Cajuns is a complex topic, with the relationship between the speakers and the social context often determining what language is spoken. Conrad, Glenn R., ed. Lafayette: Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana. Retrieved December 21, 2020 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cajun. Social Control and Conflict. The Cajuns: From Acadia to Louisiana. Contact also meant that the use of Cajun French decreased, and in 1921 it was banned from use in public schools. https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cajuns, "Cajuns In general, they were seen as poor, uneducated, fun-loving backwoods folk. LANGUAGE: Dutch (called Flemish in its regional spoken version); French; German Creoles in New Orleans have played an important part in the culture of the city. Public dances (bals ), festivals, and feasts were regularly held in Cajun Communities. Settlements included isolated houses, small farms, towns, ranches, and families living on houseboats. Cajun History. They tended to marry non-Cajuns, lived among Anglos and Creoles, and looked down upon the poor, rural Cajuns. ELIZABETH KNOWLES "Cajun © 2019 Encyclopedia.com | All rights reserved. In 1754, France went to war with Great Britain in North America over lucrative fishing and fur-trapping efforts, a conflict known as the Seven Years' War. Retrieved December 21, 2020 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cajuns. Cajuns love to cook with seafood, a nod to their historic ties to Atlantic Canada and the waterways of southern Louisiana. Beginning in Canada, the earliest music was often sung a cappela, with only occasional hand claps and foot stomps. They settled along the swamps and bayous after wandering for 10 years along the Atlantic seaboard. With their current status as a folk culture, considerable interest has developed in the expressive elements of traditional Cajun culture, especially the music and food. TOM McARTHUR "CAJUN (December 21, 2020). In Canada, the Acadians lived by farming (wheat, oats, rye, vegetables), raising cattle, and fishing, and by selling surplus crops and cattle and buying manufactured products. The Cajun people have held onto their cultural traditions, including their unique cuisine. Later came the Americans who could not pronounce "Acadien" or "'Cadien", so the word, "Cajun" was born. Cajuns rejected formal education outside the home except for instruction provided by the church. In some homes and communities, Creole French is spoken as well. The intinerant traders (marchand-charette ) who once supplied most household supplies are a thing of the past. All came as part of the Acadian Diaspora, which resulted from their forced exile by the British from Acadia in 1755. (1983). 21 Dec. 2020 . That policy was abandoned in the 1970s when there was a reversal in sentiment to retain local cultures… Cajun Renaissance. Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. In the 1970s there were about 800,000 Cajuns in Louisiana. As with their music, Cajun food reflects the combining of elements from a number of cultural traditions on a rural French base. Public school education played a major role in weakening the traditional culture, as it resulted in many children never learning or even forgetting Cajun French and provided skills and knowledge useful in mainstream society, thus giving younger Cajuns the opportunity for upward socioeconomic mobility. Lafayette: University of Southwestern Louisiana. Seafood sourced straight from Louisiana. With public interest in the Cajuns as a folk culture developing in the 1960s, tourism has also become a source of income. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list. Encyclopedia.com. The new settlers began cultivating the land for agriculture and fished the Gulf of Mexico and surrounding bayous. The prohibition of the teaching of French in Louisiana schools has created a generation gap in some families with grandparents speaking Cajun French, parents speaking some Cajun French, and the grandchildren speaking only English. Gumbo, a main Cajun dish, is a prime metaphor for creolization because it … Subsistence and Commercial Activities. The basic social and economic unit in traditional times was the patrilineally extended family, whose members often lived near one another. . Learn more: Creoles of Color Louisiana Creole People There was no formal class structure, though a Cajun elite, the "Genteel Acadians" emerged in the early 1800s. , lived in New Orleans (1980-1998) Cajuns are recognized as a legal minority due to a 1980 court case, Roach v Dresser Inc., where a Cajun man was discriminated against because of his heritage, his perceived low capabilities, was called derogatory names, and lost his job. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html. ." . "Cajuns All life events such as birth, marriage, and death required church rituals as did many daily events, with the blessing of fields, tools, boats, and so on an integral part of the work cycle. Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. Louisiana had a markedly different environment, with four environmental regions, none exactly the same as Acadia. The Cajuns who settled on the Louisiana prairies developed two economic adaptations. These new environments led to the development of new subsistence and commercial pursuits in Louisiana as well as variation in activities from one region to another. 21 Dec. 2020 . Organizations such as the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana devoted their efforts to provide means for Louisianans of all cultures to learn French. The Acadians were the original French settlers in North America. The rapid growth of the University of Southwestern Louisiana, McNeese State University, and Nicholls State University is evidence that many Cajuns now attend college as well. Men generally had responsibility for subsistence activities, and women managed the household. Rushton, William Faulkner (1979). Encyclopedia.com. ." . The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. The Cajuns: Essays on Their History and Culture. All came as part of the Acadian Diaspora, which resulted from their forced exile by the British from Acadia in 1755. Cajuns usually use English as the contact language and as the Domestic language in an increasing number of homes. Cajun culture began with the arrival of French Acadians (the French-speaking people of the territory that is now mainly Nova Scotia in Canada) who migrated to and settled in what is now Louisiana mainly between 1765 and 1785. Most Cajuns are of French descent. . It was raised a few feet above the ground and constructed from cypress wood and infilled with clay and moss. They were mainly a few families who had become wealthy as farmers, merchants, or professionals. Both have also changed over the years as new features have been added. Dorman, James H. (1983). Non-Cajuns began settling in the region around 1800, however, and took much of the land for large plantations. Although the nuclear family unit lived in the same dwelling as part of the extended family, the extended family was the basic social and economic unit. TOM McARTHUR "CAJUN The name Cajun comes from the name of the colony, Acadia. Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. As this ethnic pride and empowerment movement swept through southern Louisiana, Cajuns were inspired to preserve their language, history, culture, and folkways. That they were Roman Catholic while others were mainly Protestant further contributed to group segregation. Linguistic Affiliation. There were also numerous festivals and feast days of religious significance. Later, it incorporated soul, reggae, hop … Cajun French is a mix of Acadian French, standard 19th-century French, Creole and English. Creoles, like Cajuns, have contributed so much to New Orleans art, music and social life; without them, New Orleans wouldn't be the unique city it is today. Cajuns are a group of people who live in southern Louisiana. Cajun are often used as broad cultural terms without reference to actual descent from the surrounding population, was... 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'S kin music was often sung a cajun culture facts, with only occasional hand claps foot... Cotton, supplemented by sweet potatoes Choctaw, for example ) there, they cleared land for pasture and. Reflect upon and share their own History, some women did marry non-Cajun men were... Variations of French, Spanish, African languages and American Indian languages ``! Small farms, towns, ranches, and looked down upon the rural. Most were poor element of the most unique cultures and ethnic groups in the,. Reggae, hop … Cajun Renaissance apart from the rural areas a concentration in GIS from the of... And cotton, and copy the text into your bibliography lived by subsistence in! And communities, Creole transcends racial boundaries Cajun Society much different than that New! Traditional technology has been a marked trend to settlement in towns and villages throughout Acadiana celebrate every season with music. 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