Acadian to Cajun: Transformation of a People, 1803-1877 by Carl A. Brasseaux

By Carl A. Brasseaux

This publication is the 1st to envision comprehensively the demographic progress, cultural evolution, and political involvement of Louisiana's huge Acadian neighborhood among the time of the Louisiana buy (1803), whilst the transplanted tradition started to tackle a decidedly Louisiana personality, and 1877, the top of Reconstruction in Louisiana, whilst conventional differences among Acadians and neighboring teams had ceased to be legitimate. Serving as a version for ethnohistories of alternative nonliterate peoples, Acadian to Cajun unearths how genuine cultural background could be derived from substitute ancient assets while basic fabrics equivalent to newspapers, correspondence, and diaries aren't on hand. right here, Carl A. Brasseaux assembles a composite photo of this massive Cajun neighborhood. From civil documents, federal census experiences, ecclesiastical registers, legislative acts, and electoral returns, he finds the fabulous cultural transformation of the Acadians of Nova Scotia into the Cajuns of Louisiana.

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Poor Acadians were thus not only unwilling but unable to share to any great extent the materialism, Page 41 social institutions, and improved technology that their neighbors so readily embraced. The gulf between the petits habitants and Anglo­American planters, merchants, and professionals was especially wide, as is demonstrated in the reminiscences of J.  The typical antebellum Acadian farm's garden provided adequate amounts of corn, potatoes, and vegetables, while home­grown cattle and hogs, as well as game killed during hunting expeditions, furnished the petits habitants a protein­rich diet.

Though such mutual aid programs were significant social institutions, they were overshadowed by the selection of godparents for the child's christening, a practice that formally allied families.  In Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes, Acadian brides in exogenous marriages frequently took as husbands scions of Gallicized German Creole families.  Firmly bound together by cultural and blood ties, extended families constituted clans, centered on the original family property and dominated by the oldest surviving member, or patriarch.

One such dispute during the Civil War ended in a shootout between an Acadian and his parish priest in front of St.  In later years, Fathers Joseph Billon and Francis P.  Martinville, the St.  Sometimes a priest was not able to visit remote rural areas for years, and this unofficial ceremony "held" until the child was officially baptized by a priest and was especially valued when an infant's life was in danger before it had been [officially] baptized....  Though such mutual aid programs were significant social institutions, they were overshadowed by the selection of godparents for the child's christening, a practice that formally allied families.

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