Post by Saphyrine
What is a Cajun ?
* is it : - genealogical
- uniquely genealogical
- not uniquely genealogical
* is it : - behavioural
- uniquely behavioural
- not uniquely behavioural
* is it : - a matter of language
- uniquely a matter of language
- not uniquely a matter of language
* is it : - of French origins
- uniquely of French origins
- not uniquely of French origins
* is it : - of Acadian origins
- uniquely of Acadian origins
- not uniquely of Acadian origins
* is it : - of CrÃ©ole origins
- uniquely of CrÃ©ole origins
- not uniquely of CrÃ©ole origins
* is it : - of other origins
- uniquely of other origins
- not uniquely of other origins
* is it : - territorial
- if yes, which territory
- South Louisiana
- North Louisiana
- Mid Louisiana
- on the bayous
- specific cities
- uniquely territorial
- not uniquely territorial
* is it : - derogatory
- really derogatory
- derogatory in specific sentences
* Any comments or ideas ?
Not being a Cajun myself, I won't answer your survey. Having lived in
Louisiana for 35 years, I will make a few comments and a suggestion or
I've been on (and off) of this newsgroup for many years as Darrel and
a few other newsgroup old-timers will know. So I can say with a fair
amount of accuracy that this newsgroup is mostly dead. Very few people
ever post here. Whether or not there are many readers, however, I
couldn't say. If you're looking for answers to your questions, this is
not likely to garner much results.
Part of the time I lived in Louisiana, I did live in Acadiana
(Terrebone Parish). I also worked as a chief cook for many a Cajun on
offshore oil rigs and platforms for about 10 years.
Later, I learned a lot about the history of Louisiana in general as
well as the Cajuns particularly while working as a tour guide.
Cajuns (at least in my understanding) are descendants of French people
who once lived in the area known as Acadia (or Acadie) in Canada. I
won't bore you with the history as you should be able to research that
easily enough anyway.
Basically, however, they were basically kicked out of the area by the
British unless they were willing to give up their religion and way of
life. They found their way to coastal Louisiana in the south-western
area of the state.
Some remained pure French; at least for many years. Others
intermarried with native American Indians, Germans, Africans,
Americans and other Europeans who'd either settled in the area or
later moved there.
For much of modern history, the Cajuns (for the most part) remained in
the 22 parishes of south-western Louisiana known collectively as
Acadiana along with those who lived in south-eastern Texas.
While their language and lifestyle was French-based, it was uniquely
influenced by the blend of other people who lived along side and
intermarried with them.
After the oil boom of the mid-1900s and the coming of Interstate
Highway system, there was more exposure to the American culture (if
you can call it that - smile). Many more than ever before learned
English; especially those who made their living in the oil field.
Today, most every Cajun (if not all) can speak English though some
still prefer to speak the dialect of French that is unique to
Louisiana and Texas Cajuns.
One thing the a Cajun is definitely not is a Creole, though I'm sure
many Creoles and Cajuns intermarried. Many will say that Creoles are
black or a mix of black and white which (of course) many of them are.
By true definition, however, Creoles are Louisianans who are a blend
of those people who were born anywhere in the "New World" (including
some in South America), but at least one of their parents came from
While Creoles are mostly from the city and mostly from the New Orleans
area, they can be black, white or mixed race. While the Cajuns are
primarily from small-town coastal Louisiana, Creoles are primarily
from the New Orleans area.
Their dialects are different. Their musical style is different. Their
food is different along with their culture and way of life.
Though there are many similarities and intermarriages between the two
cultures, they are (more or less) distinctly different.
The differences between Cajuns and Creole are much to vast to discuss
and/or assimilate overnight and from afar. The only true way to know
is to live in Louisiana and experience it for yourself.
Maybe some Cajuns like Darrel or others I've known (but can't recall
their names right now) will chime in with more. If not (or even if),
here are a few urls (in no particular order or importance) that might
give you some much-needed insight. They can all be found in a split
second using Google. At least, these should get you started.
The next one is a radio station in Eunice, LA dedicated to Cajun
music, etc. You can listen live if you'd like.
This next one has a lot of good links to discussion groups and other
sites primarily devoted to Cajun music, but there are also links to
many other things Cajun and I'm sure some of the musicians in some of
the discussion groups might be interested in your survey.
The next one is Chuck Taggart's web page dedicated to both Creole and