cajun culture facts

(December 21, 2020). Lafayette: Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana. Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. Bousillage, a mixture of Spanish moss and mud, was the Louisiana version of traditional building methods used in Acadie and in France. Parents emphasized the teaching of economic and domestic skills and participation in the activities of the kinship network. 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. Those in the west grew rice and raised cattle, with local variation in terms of which was the more important. The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. Demography. The Roman Catholic church was a major unifying force, as it provided the belief system that supported many Cajun practices as well as differentiated Cajuns from their mostly Protestant neighbors. Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. Linguistic Affiliation. Encyclopedia.com. The People Called Cajuns. 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. ." Dictionary of American History. . 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. 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. Once settled in Lousiana, in environments very different from Acadia and in contact with other cultures including Black Creoles, American Indians, Germans, Spaniards, and Italians, the Acadian culture began to change, eventually becoming what has come to be called Cajun culture. Retrieved December 21, 2020 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cajuns. "Cajuns Location. A Brief History of Cajun Music Acadiana is commonly known as French Louisiana, but it is actually a melting pot of rich cultures. Today, as in the past, Creole transcends racial boundaries. This conflict ended in defeat for the French with the Treaty of Paris in 1763. Within the Cajun group in general, there was a continuum of wealth, though most were poor. Zydeco music evolved in Louisiana among the French Creole people. (December 21, 2020). With increased exposure to other cultures through Internet-based media Cajun culture continues to remain popular and, without a doubt, will continue to thrive. Older Cajuns speak Cajun French in the home and with other Cajuns. 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. ETHNONYMS: Flamencos (Spanish), Flandres (French), Flemings, French-Flemish, Northern Belgians, Southern Dutch, Vlaamingen (Dutch), Vlamisch…, Serbs 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. Learn about Cajun traditions. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. In the 1970s there were about 800,000 Cajuns in Louisiana. American settlers poured into the Territory soon after, eager to make money. 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. 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. Social Control and Conflict. Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. Towns and villages throughout Acadiana celebrate every season with their special blend of music, food and the colorful Cajun heritage. Yup! The last quarter of the 20th century brought a renewed interest in Cajun culture and traditions, which helped make Cajun style cooking popular worldwide. Most Cajuns moved elsewhere; those that stayed lived by subsistence farming in the backwaters until well into the twentieth century. ETHNONYMS: Karelians or Karjalaiset, Suomalaiset, Tavastians or Hämäläiset Louisiana Cajun culture thrives in New Orleans and South Louisiana Cajuns were never long-term settlers in the city of New Orleans. 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. ." 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. . World Encyclopedia. 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. 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. https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cajuns, "Cajuns Cajun culture, even in today’s world, is best affiliated with the geography. Cajuns are a group of people who live in southern Louisiana. The traditional economy centered on cooperation among members of the extended family and kindred. They settled along the swamps and bayous after wandering for 10 years along the Atlantic seaboard. . 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. 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. ." There, they cleared land for pasture grazing and began growing crops such as cotton and rice. Rushton, William Faulkner (1979). ." . . And the Cajuns are not the only residents of these parishes, which include non-Cajun Whites of various ethnic backgrounds, African-Americans, Black Creoles, and others. Cajuns usually use English as the contact language and as the Domestic language in an increasing number of homes. ." Today, nuclear families have replaced extended ones, with economic ties now far less important than social ones in kinship groups. ." It is worth reiterating that the traditional geographic heart of Cajun culture is not in New Orleans, but rather in rural South Louisiana. POPULATION: About 10.4 million https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cajun, TOM McARTHUR "CAJUN in Geography with a concentration in GIS from the University of Iowa. 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 1900s, Edwin Edwards, "the Cajun Governor" was first elected in 1972. With Cajuns residing in southeast Texas for more than a century, their culture is intertwined with the Golden Triangle mainstream, says Tom Neal, director of the Museum of the Gulf Coast in Port Arthur. All usually involved community dinners, dancing, playing, drinking beer, and music making, and all were family affairs with the entire family participating. Lafayette: University of Southwestern Louisiana. Perhaps more important, the church teachings formed the belief system underlying Cajun social organization. . This region includes coastal marshes, swamps, prairies, and levee land. (December 21, 2020). Travelers in the south have commented on the friendliness with which the Cajun people welcomed guests and strangers into their homes, and also their willingness to share whatever they had, even if it was just a little. On the one hand, their Roman Catholic beliefs set the Cajuns apart from the surrounding population, which was mainly Baptist and Methodist. In the past, because of their Acadian heritage, residential localization, unique language, and Roman Catholicism, it was relatively easy to distinguish Cajuns from other groups in Lousiana. Today, Cajun children attend both public and parochial schools and tens of thousands participate in French-language programs in elementary schools. LOCATION: Belgium LOCATION: Nicaragua; Honduras POPULATION: About 200,000 Men generally had responsibility for subsistence activities, and women managed the household. Often synonymous with Zydeco music, Cajun music differs in its roots. The first known inhabitants known to have populated the Lafayette, LA area were the Attakapas Indians in the 1700s. World Encyclopedia. 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 … ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. "Cajuns Male dominance in the home, stable marriages, large families, and so on were all in accord with the requirements of the church. Creoles in New Orleans have played an important part in the culture of the city. Nearby residence was encouraged by Patrilocal postmarital residence which involved fathers giving newly married sons a piece of the family land. She holds a B.A. 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. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list. The area is most well-known for its dominant Creole culture from French and Canadian settlers. 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. Beginning in Canada, the earliest music was often sung a cappela, with only occasional hand claps and foot stomps. A Cajun Food Truck in Pennsylvania? Gumbo, a main Cajun dish, is a prime metaphor for creolization because it … ." Marriage to outsiders has also become more frequent, and is often the reverse of the former pattern, with Cajun men now marrying non-Cajun women who acculturate their husbands into mainstream society. Political Organization. Non-Cajuns began settling in the region around 1800, however, and took much of the land for large plantations. Retrieved December 21, 2020 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/cajuns. Land Tenure. 21 Dec. 2020 . "Cajun It also borrowed words from Spanish, African languages and American Indian languages ( "bayou" from Choctaw, for example). 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. Authentic Cajun … 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. Social Organization. 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. Divorce was rare and difficult to justify. 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. . Guadeloupean Language use by Cajuns is a complex topic, with the relationship between the speakers and the social context often determining what language is spoken. 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. Cajun Renaissance. 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. 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. 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. Settlements included isolated houses, small farms, towns, ranches, and families living on houseboats. With public interest in the Cajuns as a folk culture developing in the 1960s, tourism has also become a source of income. Encyclopedia.com. There were also numerous festivals and feast days of religious significance. 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. 21 Dec. 2020 . Cajun food is robust, rustic food, found along the bayous of Louisiana, a combination of French and Southern cuisines. Inspired not by charity, but more by hospitality (which is an inherited trait), these people opened the doors to their hom… Cajun History. In the swampland region, fishing and the hunting and gathering of crawfish, ducks, crabs, turtles, frogs, and moss were the major economic activities. 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 have also changed over the years as new features have been added. (1983). "Cajuns Identification. About 20 years ago, on the day I turned 40, I was musing over the idea of writing my first book. People from these different cultures interacted with each other over the years and formed the modern-day Cajun culture. Cattle ranching has declined, and sugar cane, rice, cotton, and maize are now the major crops. 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. In the marshland region, on the Chernier Plain, Cajuns raised cattle, trapped, and Gardened; on the Deltaic Plain they farmed, fished, hunted, and trapped. In recent years, there has been a marked trend to settlement in towns and cities through migration from the rural areas. Encyclopedia.com. Louisiana had a markedly different environment, with four environmental regions, none exactly the same as Acadia. The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. They quickly adapted to their strange new environment and were soon harvesting crawfish, shrimp, crabs, and oysters. Dictionary of American History. Marriage usually occurred at a young age. 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. Relations between the Cajuns and other groups in Louisiana Including Anglos, Creoles, Black Creoles, and others were generally peaceful because the Cajuns were largely self-sufficient, lived in distinctly Cajun regions, were numerically dominant in those regions, and chose to avoid conflict. Acadians are one of a number of groups of French ancestry in Louisiana, which also include the French-Canadians, Creoles, and those who emigrated directly from France. , 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. “It’s a standing joke that I hear from time to time that Port Arthur ought to be part of Louisiana. Catholicism is the dominant religion practiced by today's Cajun people, but it is heavily influenced by … 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. The Cajuns today form small, compact, generally self-contained communities. Cajun and Black Creole Culture share a number of common elements, some of which are discussed in the entry on Black Creoles of Louisiana. Ceremonies. . All the major Roman Catholic holidays were celebrated by the Cajuns. 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. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. Popular recipes include Maque Choux, a vegetable-based dish with tomatoes, onions, corn, and peppers and Crawfish Etoufee, a thick, often spicy seafood stew. Retrieved December 21, 2020 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/cajun. In recent decades, as the region has experienced economic development and population shifts, the boundaries of Acadiana have blurred. ." There was no formal class structure, though a Cajun elite, the "Genteel Acadians" emerged in the early 1800s. Preferential community endogamy meant that others in the community often included the wife's kin. Originally hailing from a French-Canadian community, modern Cajuns often have a mixed background, including French, English, German, Native American and Creole ancestry. Subsistence and Commercial Activities. Learn more: Creoles of Color Louisiana Creole People 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. All came as part of the Acadian Diaspora, which resulted from their forced exile by the British from Acadia in 1755. "Cajun The area settled by the Acadians and other cultures became known as the Territory of Orleans. TOM McARTHUR "CAJUN Later came the Americans who could not pronounce "Acadien" or "'Cadien", so the word, "Cajun" was born. See alsoAcadians , (1975). In the late 1960s, however, various racial and ethnic groups across the United States embraced their cultural heritage. 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. It was raised a few feet above the ground and constructed from cypress wood and infilled with clay and moss. With the exception of those in the levee-land region who lost their land to Anglos, most Cajuns lived in relative isolation in rural communities where they farmed, fished, or raised cattle. The Cajuns are a distinct cultural group of people who have lived mainly in south-central and Southwestern Louisiana since the late eighteenth century. In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Cajuns are a group of people largely residing in southern Louisiana, a region rich with the history of several cultures. LANGUAGE: Dutch (called Flemish in its regional spoken version); French; German Rather, Cajuns generally participated in Louisiana and national politics as voters. Population relocations, the arrival of non-Cajuns, and changes in economic activities have all produced changes in settlement patterns. It was not until after World War I that mainstream Society entered Acadiana and began to influence Cajun life. 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. Cajuns in Louisiana today are a distinct cultural group, separate from the Acadians of Nova Scotia. World Encyclopedia. On the other hand, the church was a visible and active participant in family and Social life in every community. This area is known as Acadiana due to the influence from Cajun culture. Like the Appalachians and Ozarkers, they are considered by outsiders to be a traditional folk Culture with attention given to their arts and crafts, food, music, and dance. Despite their early settlement in Louisiana, Cajuns own relatively little land. Lafayette: Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana. Zydeco developed from the Creoles, a people of French (those not descended from Acadian refugees), Spanish, and Indigenous multiracial descent. The Acadians were the original French settlers in North America. Within the regional class structure, Cajuns were considered better than Blacks but the lowest group of Whites. Traditional Cajun cuisine was also influenced, of course, by the foods grown or available locally. ." Encyclopedia.com. Certainly plenty of people of Cajun descent live in New Orleans now, but it is not the hub of Cajun culture by any stretch, and Cajun restaurants and musicians are, generally speaking, an import to the city, not a traditional part of the city's fabric. It is a blend of blues, R&B and indigineous music. 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. Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. ." 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. LANGUAGE: Dialects of Miskito; English; Spanish Encyclopedia.com. ." 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