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~ THE LOUISIANA CAJUN ~


The Cajun people are descendents of the Acadians who once settled in the French province of Acadia. Now known as Nova Scotia, Canada.

Not long after they settled that area in the 1600s, the area became a British possession. When France and England became involved in wartime activities in 1755 the British authorities demanded that the Acadians renounce their Roman Catholic faith and swear allegiance to the Crown. When they refused they were forced into exile, shipped to the New England colonies, the West Indies or back to France. Many died at sea, while others wandered for years before they found out about the predominantly French territory of Louisiana.

In 1784, the King of Spain allowed the exiles to settle in south Louisiana. Small farms and fishing and trapping villages were established along the Mississippi River and the many bayous and swamplands of southern Louisiana.

The official Cajun Country covers 22 parishes and extends from the Louisiana coast north to just south of Alexandria.

Lafayette is the unofficial capital of "Acadiana."

Cajuns are known for their "joie de vivre" (joy of living). Their music and food are both rich in tradition and flavor.

The food is quite often spicy and usually makes use of regionally plentiful provisions such as seafood, wild game, and rice. Some of the more popular dishes include jambalaya, gumbo, turtle stew, andouille sausage, boudin (a pork and rice sausage), cochon du lait, boiled crabs and crawfish, and seafood etoufe' and bisque.

Cajun music can be lively, melancholy or both at the same time. The traditional instruments are fiddle, accordion and triangle. Like the spoken language of the Cajuns, the lyrics of their songs are part French, part English.

The word "cajun" is a derivative of the original French pronunciation of Acadian: "A-ca-jan".



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~ THE AGIN CAJUN ~


I went for a walk the other day;
I met an old man along the way.
His shoulders bent, his feet uncertain;
You could tell his heart was hurtin.


His face was aged with lines of time;
He could have been a grandpa of mine.
His smile was covered with a frown;
He said to me, "Mey les sit down".


My heart sank as he began to speak;
His voice was soft and very weak.
Words came out, his breath was short;
Tears came thru his eyes from his heart.


"I'm proud to be a Cajun you see;
I'm jus as proud as I can be.
I'm part of this old land you know;
I was born here many years ago.


But now I'm jus an agin Cajun;
And my heart inside is ragin.
I'm so afraid after I'm gone;
Our heritage won't be carried on.


My moma and papa are buried here;
To them this land was very dear.
My grandpa fought the revolution;
Seems to me there's no solution.


Deep inside I'm burnin so;
I want these young Cajuns to know.
All about gumbo and makin a roux;
Bout oyster pie and crawfish stew.


Bout Nonk Thophille and Tante Une;
Bout playin a song with only a spoon.
To look with pride at the cypress knees;
And love the moss in the old oak tree.


To know the fear of the roogaroo;
When nitetime comes down the bayou.
Bout fishin, crabin. shrimpin, too;
Bout havin pride in all you do.


To know what is called iliteracy;
Is mostly heritage you see.
My life is over I'll soon be gone;
You my friend will have to carry on.


You're young but you were brought up right;
You have to try with all your might;
To keep our Cajun heritage livin;
To teach our young ones to be givin.


To love every one right from the heart;
Of this their heritage they are a part.
To put their hand right out and say;
Good mornin ya'll, have a good day.


We Cajuns always was a proud bunch;
We return an insult with a punch.
Anybody that'll do us right;
Becomes our friend overnite".


The old man has since passed away;
I made a promise to him that day.
To spread his word throughout Acadiana;
To keep pride in our Louisiana.


To say whether we be young or agin;
We're swelled with pride to be a Cajun.

By: Ann Beverly



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CAJUN TEN COMMANDMENTS


1. God is number one...and das' ALL.

2. Don't pray to nuttin' or nobody...jus' God

3. Don't cuss nobody...'specially da Good Lord

4. When it be Sabbath...pass yo'self by God's House

5. Yo Mamma an' yo Daddy done did it all...lissen to dem

6. Killin' duck an' fish, das' OK...people - NO!

7. God done give you a wife...sleep wit' jus' her

8. Don't take nobody's boat...or nuttin' else

9. Do go wantin' somebody's stuff

10. Stop lyin'...yo tongue gonna fall out yo mouf!

AMEN!

 

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"Jolie Blonde" MIDI sequenced by
AccordionMan Andy Bakke










Todays Date:
This page was last modified on:
Tuesday, September 2, 2003