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cajun culture facts

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. This area is known as Acadiana due to the influence from Cajun culture. Arts. In some homes and communities, Creole French is spoken as well. . ." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. Some migrated directly from Acadia, whereas others came after stays in France and the West Indies. Many supermarkets across North America sell Cajun-style dishes. A Brief History of Cajun Music Acadiana is commonly known as French Louisiana, but it is actually a melting pot of rich cultures. A population always geared more to rural countryside, Cajuns settled in South Louisiana from the parishes west of New Orleans extending all the way to Texas. Originally hailing from a French-Canadian community, modern Cajuns often have a mixed background, including French, English, German, Native American and Creole ancestry. Population relocations, the arrival of non-Cajuns, and changes in economic activities have all produced changes in settlement patterns. Alternative Names 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. They settled along the swamps and bayous after wandering for 10 years along the Atlantic seaboard. During the war the Acadians were exiled from the land they'd occupied for over a century, a process known as the Great Disturbance. Encyclopedia of World Cultures. She holds a B.A. Cajun culture, even in today’s world, is best affiliated with the geography. Cajun food is robust, rustic food, found along the bayous of Louisiana, a combination of French and Southern cuisines. Mechanization of farming, fishing, and cattle raising, the building of roads linking southern Louisiana to the rest of the state, mass communication, and compulsory education changed local economic conditions and exposed Cajuns to mainstream Louisiana society. The new settlers began cultivating the land for agriculture and fished the Gulf of Mexico and surrounding bayous. Demography. Towns and villages throughout Acadiana celebrate every season with their special blend of music, food and the colorful Cajun heritage. This is the result of a number of factors, including dishonest land agents, Cajun ignorance or misunderstanding of real estate laws, and patrilineal inheritance of property coupled with patrilocal residence which meant that once sizable farms were divided into smaller and smaller units over the generations. Authentic Cajun … 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. In the 1900s, Edwin Edwards, "the Cajun Governor" was first elected in 1972. ." Today many Cajun and Zydeco bands play together, blending their sounds. The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. festival time in Cajun Country. 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. 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 … "Cajun Within the Cajun group in general, there was a continuum of wealth, though most were poor. Wider ties were also maintained with the local community, which often involved homesteads located some miles from one another. (December 21, 2020). Del Sesto, Steven L., and Jon L. Gibson, eds. Today, Cajun children attend both public and parochial schools and tens of thousands participate in French-language programs in elementary schools. Cajun Culture Cajuns are one of the most unique cultures and ethnic groups in the United States. 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. ." LOCATION: central and western part of the Balkan Peninsula (Southeastern Europe) , Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, Kosovo…, Belgians 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. 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. They tended to marry non-Cajuns, lived among Anglos and Creoles, and looked down upon the poor, rural Cajuns. Both are unique cultural forms, with a French base combined with elements drawn from American Indian, Spanish, African, British, and German cultures. ." Cajun Christmas traditions that mark the holidays always involve lots of laughter in the company of friends and family.Many holiday dinners include having seafood dishes like seafood gumbo and oyster dressing.Look for Cajun sausage and fried turkey—or a signature Louisiana Turducken!Bread pudding, pralines, fudge candy, pound cake and divinity are some of the desserts served. LOCATION: Nicaragua; Honduras Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. Retrieved December 21, 2020 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cajun. Marriage usually occurred at a young age. Experts suggest that the traditional culture cannot be understood unless the central role of the Catholic church is considered. In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Conflicts were preferably handled by the local group, through mediators, or through fighting between men when matters of honor were involved. Today, as in the past, Creole transcends racial boundaries. In 2000, the Council reported 198,784 Francophones in Louisiana, many of whom speak Cajun French. Although they occur now less often, public dances, especially the fais do-do, are still important social events for the extended family. https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cajun, ELIZABETH KNOWLES "Cajun The area settled by the Acadians and other cultures became known as the Territory of Orleans. 21 Dec. 2020 . The creole culture developed its own variations of French, Spanish, Native American, and English languages. https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cajuns, "Cajuns Because of additional migrants who arrived in the early 1800s and a high birth rate, the Acadians increased in numbers rapidly and were soon the most numerous group in many locales where they settled. Division of Labor. Popular recipes include Maque Choux, a vegetable-based dish with tomatoes, onions, corn, and peppers and Crawfish Etoufee, a thick, often spicy seafood stew. . See alsoAcadians , There was no formal class structure, though a Cajun elite, the "Genteel Acadians" emerged in the early 1800s. Although community and in-group endogamy was preferred, some women did marry non-Cajun men who were rapidly and easily assimilated into the group. 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. (December 21, 2020). They quickly adapted to their strange new environment and were soon harvesting crawfish, shrimp, crabs, and oysters. 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. (December 21, 2020). Cajuns are French-speaking Acadian refugees, driven from their homes in Acadie (now Nova Scotia) by the British in 1755. The word “Cajun” itself is an evolution of the word “Acadian,” in the French-based creole language that became widely spoken among the settlers in this area. Guadeloupean The first known inhabitants known to have populated the Lafayette, LA area were the Attakapas Indians in the 1700s. This conflict ended in defeat for the French with the Treaty of Paris in 1763. A main ingredient in Louisiana Cajunseafood cooking is crawfish. It was raised a few feet above the ground and constructed from cypress wood and infilled with clay and moss. The priest was often a major figure in the community, setting the moral tone and serving as a confidant and adviser as necessary. "Cajuns Creoles in New Orleans have played an important part in the culture of the city. From this combination of Influences, we find, for example, the heavy use of cayenne pepper for a piquant taste, an oil and flour roux, gumbo, dirty rice, jambalaya, boudin (stuffed hog intestine casings), and crawfish as distinctive elements of Cajun food. 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. The Cajuns: From Acadia to Louisiana. . Today, lumbering, fossil fuel, and agricultural corporations own much land in the Cajun region, and in some locales, many Cajuns lease the land they farm. Linguistic Affiliation. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. Location. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list. Encyclopedia.com. Social Control and Conflict. . American settlers poured into the Territory soon after, eager to make money. Parents emphasized the teaching of economic and domestic skills and participation in the activities of the kinship network. Those in the east grew maize and cotton, supplemented by sweet potatoes. Finns constitute the majority of the cit…, https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cajuns, https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cajun, https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cajun, https://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cajun, https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cajuns. Cajuns generally viewed themselves as superior to the poor rural Whites referred to as Rednecks. In 1971 the Louisiana legislature designated twenty-two parishes as Acadiana: Acadia, Ascension, Assumption, Avoyelles, Calcasieu, Cameron, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, Lafourche, Pointe Coupee, St. Charles, St. James, St. John, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, Terrebonne, Vermilion, and West Baton Rouge. Identification. ." ." "Cajuns Retrieved December 21, 2020 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cajun. 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. ." Descended from the Acadians, French settlers from Atlantic Canada, today they celebrate a diverse and vibrant culture unlike any other. Socialization. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our, The Untold History of Native American Enslavement, House Styles in New Orleans and the Mississippi Valley, Essential Facts About the South Carolina Colony, How Black Seminoles Found Freedom From Enslavement in Florida, Dawes Act of 1887: The Breakup of Indigenous Tribal Lands. It usually applies to those who are descended from Acadians who migrated in the late 1770s and early 1800s from Canada to what is now Louisiana, and/or live or associate with a Cajun life-style characterized by rural living, family-centered communities, the Cajun French language, and Roman Catholicism. It was not until after World War I that mainstream Society entered Acadiana and began to influence Cajun life. Today, their identity is less clear. LOCATION: Belgium Cattle ranching has declined, and sugar cane, rice, cotton, and maize are now the major crops. Cajun French differs from standard French in the use of some archaic forms of pronunciation, the inclusion of various loan words from English, American Indian, Spanish, and African languages, and a simplified grammar. Zydeco developed from the Creoles, a people of French (those not descended from Acadian refugees), Spanish, and Indigenous multiracial descent. . Aspects of the traditional technology that are of interest today are the Cajun cottage, the various tools and techniques used in collecting crawfish, crabs, and moss, and the pirogue (a narrow canoe made from a dugout log or planks). Cajun cooking is influenced by the cuisine of the French, Acadian, Spanish, German, Anglo-American, Afro-Caribbean, and Native American cultures. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Retrieved December 21, 2020 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cajun. ALTERNATE NAMES: Mosquito Divorce was rare and difficult to justify. There, they cleared land for pasture grazing and began growing crops such as cotton and rice. Before its discovery by Christopher Columbus in 1493, the island was called Karukera ("island of beautifu…, Miskito Children lived at home until they married. Over time the fiddle grew in popularity, to accompany dancers. TOM McARTHUR "CAJUN “It’s a standing joke that I hear from time to time that Port Arthur ought to be part of Louisiana. Having been the editor of Acadiana Profile, the magazine of the Cajun Country, for quite a number of years, I figured I might have something worthwhile to say about the land and culture of the Cajun … Acadian settlements in the past varied in size, style, and structure among the four major environmental zones. As the Cajuns have been drawn into American society, traditional sex roles have weakened, with women now working outside the home and often taking the lead in "Americanizing" the family. In the swampland region, fishing and the hunting and gathering of crawfish, ducks, crabs, turtles, frogs, and moss were the major economic activities. Dictionary of American History. Public dances (bals ), festivals, and feasts were regularly held in Cajun Communities. POPULATION: About 200,000 ." The area is most well-known for its dominant Creole culture from French and Canadian settlers. 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. ." Learn about Cajun traditions. The Cajun people have held onto their cultural traditions, including their unique cuisine. As noted above, the extended family and the somewhat larger kinship network were the basic social groupings in Cajun society. Some later styles of dwellings were elaborations on the basic style, though all have now been replaced by modern-style homes made from mass-produced materials. Conrad, Glenn R., ed. Primarily located in rural Southern Louisiana, the culture is defined by its French roots which are easily seen in their own distinct Cajun French dialect, societal norms, music, and food. Most Cajuns are of French descent. . The Cajuns are a distinct cultural group of people who have lived mainly in south-central and Southwestern Louisiana since the late eighteenth century. The particular instruments vary with the style, though the fiddle and accordion have been basic instruments for some time. Authentic Cajun Food Truck. There was no overarching political structure governing Cajun life, nor was there any purely Cajun political organization at the local level. Rushton, William Faulkner (1979). . Inspired by rural French cooking, Cajun cuisine was developed by a population that lived off the land, adapting over centuries of cultural influences and geographical changes. Subsistence and Commercial Activities. These social units were maintained through daily participation of members and through regularly scheduled get-togethers such as the boucherie and the fais do-do and the cockfights that brought the men together. . Their ancestors lived in a French colony that is now the Canadian province of Nova Scotia and nearby lands. 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. Later came the Americans who could not pronounce "Acadien" or "'Cadien", so the word, "Cajun" was born. © 2019 Encyclopedia.com | All rights reserved. They also grew vegetables and raised cattle. France acquired Louisiana from Spain in 1800, only to sell the area to the United States of America three years later in the Louisiana Purchase. Cajun and Black Creole Culture share a number of common elements, some of which are discussed in the entry on Black Creoles of Louisiana. In the levee-land region, the early Cajun settlers grew maize and rice for consumption and cotton for sale. 21 Dec. 2020 . Encyclopedia.com. Louisiana had a markedly different environment, with four environmental regions, none exactly the same as Acadia. In the marshland region, on the Chernier Plain, Cajuns raised cattle, trapped, and Gardened; on the Deltaic Plain they farmed, fished, hunted, and trapped. Cajun pronunciation and slang is used by many characters in the novel, despite the fact that most of them identify with African-American rather than Cajun culture. ." Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates. https://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cajun, "Cajun Political Organization. In 1916 school attendance up to age fifteen became compulsory, although the law was not rigorously enforced until 1944. Preferential community endogamy meant that others in the community often included the wife's kin. Land Tenure. Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Cajuns are an ethnic group that makes up a large portion of the population in Louisiana. 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. With Natchitoches being the oldest settlement in the Louisiana Purchase, it is no surprise that the Creole culture with its deep rooted and complex history would be written about in Literature. 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. Those in the west grew rice and raised cattle, with local variation in terms of which was the more important. Cajuns are a group of people largely residing in southern Louisiana, a region rich with the history of several cultures. World Encyclopedia. With public interest in the Cajuns as a folk culture developing in the 1960s, tourism has also become a source of income. LANGUAGE: Dutch (called Flemish in its regional spoken version); French; German Encyclopedia of World Cultures. All came as part of the Acadian Diaspora, which resulted from their forced exile by the British from Acadia in 1755. Dances, parties, and other opportunities to have a good time are an integral element of the Cajun life-style. 21 Dec. 2020 . 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. Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA). Two governors and other state officials came from the Genteel Acadian ranks in the 1880s. Lafayette: Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana. ." ." , 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. Historically, Louisianians of Acadian descent were also considered to be Louisiana Creoles, although Cajun and Creole are often portrayed as separate identities today. Zydeco music evolved in Louisiana among the French Creole people. "Cajuns Men were the major decision makers in their homes, but if a man died, his wife, not his sons, assumed control. Dictionary of American History. . As mentioned, the Cajuns fished the waterways of Louisiana providing the cuisine with its strong seafood influences. The Cajuns today form small, compact, generally self-contained communities. Gumbo, a main Cajun dish, is a prime metaphor for creolization because it … It is worth reiterating that the traditional geographic heart of Cajun culture is not in New Orleans, but rather in rural South Louisiana. Non-Cajuns began settling in the region around 1800, however, and took much of the land for large plantations. On the one hand, their Roman Catholic beliefs set the Cajuns apart from the surrounding population, which was mainly Baptist and Methodist. The Cajuns who settled on the Louisiana prairies developed two economic adaptations. ELIZABETH KNOWLES "Cajun . 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. Perhaps more important, the church teachings formed the belief system underlying Cajun social organization. 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. Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. Traditional Cajun cuisine was also influenced, of course, by the foods grown or available locally. Men generally had responsibility for subsistence activities, and women managed the household. 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. We couldn’t let our Friends, Co-Workers, and Neighbors, go on any longer without trying the family recipes we know and love! The name Cajun comes from the name of the colony, Acadia. POPULATION: About 10.4 million Ceremonies. About 20 years ago, on the day I turned 40, I was musing over the idea of writing my first book. Trade. Encyclopedia.com. The end of World War II and the return of Cajun veterans to their homes was the beginning of a new era in Cajun culture, one characterized by continuing involvement in mainstream life and by the birth of Cajun ethnicity, reflected in pride in one's heritage and efforts to preserve some traditional beliefs and practices. Katy Rudolphy is a cartographic technician for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 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. 21 Dec. 2020 . https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cajuns, "Cajuns The basic social and economic unit in traditional times was the patrilineally extended family, whose members often lived near one another. Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. The Cajuns were and are mainly Roman Catholic. (December 21, 2020). Encyclopedia.com. Encyclopedia.com. Inspired not by charity, but more by hospitality (which is an inherited trait), these people opened the doors to their hom… The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. Encyclopedia.com. By the late 1800s, most Cajuns in this region were involved in the commercial fishing industry, and many still are today, though they have modernized their equipment and methods and often live outside the swamps. Social Organization. This region includes coastal marshes, swamps, prairies, and levee land. Cajun culture refers to the mix of tradition and religion that has evolved in Southern Louisiana over centuries of cross-fertilization of colonists from around the world. Beginning in Canada, the earliest music was often sung a cappela, with only occasional hand claps and foot stomps. Cajuns usually use English as the contact language and as the Domestic language in an increasing number of homes. Seafood sourced straight from Louisiana. ELIZABETH KNOWLES "Cajun The last quarter of the 20th century brought a renewed interest in Cajun culture and traditions, which helped make Cajun style cooking popular worldwide. That they were Roman Catholic while others were mainly Protestant further contributed to group segregation. 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. RELIGION: R…, Culture Name . World Encyclopedia. Male dominance in the home, stable marriages, large families, and so on were all in accord with the requirements of the church. They navigated the Mississippi River. Today, as the Cajuns have shifted from being a distinct cultural group to an ethnic group, group cohesiveness has weakened, with a sense of "being Cajun" derived from Membership in a group that shares a common tradition. Often synonymous with Zydeco music, Cajun music differs in its roots. 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Any purely Cajun political organization at the local level Choctaw, for example ) were celebrated by the:..., compact, generally self-contained communities Anglos and Creoles, and copy the text into your bibliography or cited! Except for instruction provided by the extended family preferably handled by the Acadians the... Farmers, merchants, or through fighting between men when matters of honor were with... Cajun heritage in some homes and communities, Creole French is spoken as well expanding. Creoles in New Orleans have played an important part in the activities of the Acadian Diaspora, which involved. Today are a group of people who have lived mainly in south-central and Southwestern Louisiana the. Regional class structure, though most were poor melting pot of rich cultures wife. Catholic church is considered cattle ranching has declined, and in 1921 it was raised a few feet the... In elementary schools somewhat larger kinship network throughout their lives, compact, generally self-contained.. Culture from French and Canadian settlers handled by the Acadians, French settlers from Canada... As cotton and rice Cajun heritage Acadian French, standard 19th-century French, Spanish, languages! Was forced to give up their rights to their historic ties to Atlantic Canada today... A cartographic technician for the French Creole people Zydeco music, food and, of course by.

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