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Cajun French is the most widely spoken French language variety throughout rural southern Louisiana. It is used by Creoles in prairie settlements of southwest Louisiana, though they may speak it with influence from French Creole.

Creole and Cajun language use do not correlate to ethnicity on an exact basis. Further, the long-term interaction with and dominance of Cajun French, as well as the larger assimilative tendency of English, have made Creole closer to Cajun French.

Of the linguistic varieties, this "old Louisiana French" is the least used, although some upper-caste plantation area and urban Creoles speak the language, and its elements are maintained through Catholic schools and French-speaking social clubs in New Orleans.

Perhaps as many as twenty-eight thousand slaves arrived in eighteenth-century French- and then Spanish-held Louisiana from West Africa and the Caribbean.

The African-West Indian character of this port city and nearby plantation region was reinforced at the turn of the nineteenth century by the arrival of nearly ten thousand slaves, free Blacks, and planters from St.

Domingue Haiti. Among those eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Louisiana Creoles with African ancestry, a higher percentage than in the rest of the American South was freed from slavery in Louisiana, owing in part to French and Spanish attitudes toward acknowledgment of social and biological mingling.

These cultural differences from the Anglo South were expressed in laws such as Le Doce Noir and Las Siete Partidas in Louisiana and the Caribbean that governed relations to slaves and their rights and restrictions and provided for manumission in a variety of circumstances.

This formative group for Black Creoles was called gens libres de couleur in antebellum times. In New Orleans, these "free people of color" were part of the larger Creole that is, not American social order in a range of class settings from French slaves, laborers, and craftsmen to mercantilists and planters.

Some of these "Creoles of color," as they were also sometimes called, owned slaves themselves and had their children educated in Europe.

Given the favored treatment of lighter people with more European appearance, some Creoles would passe blanc pass for White to seek privileges of status, economic power, and education denied to non-Whites.

In times of racial strife from the Civil War to the civil rights movement, Black Creoles were often pressured to be in one or another of the major American racial categories.

Such categorization has often been a source of conflict in Creole communities with their less dichotomized, more fluid Caribbean notion of race and culture.

In New Orleans, Creoles have tended to remain strongly affiliated with neighborhoods such as the Treme area near the French Quarter as well as in the Gentilly area.

Creole Neighborhoods are centered around involvement in social clubs and benevolent societies as well as Catholic churches and schools.

In rural plantation areas, Creoles may reside in rows of worker housing or in some cases in inherited owners' homes. In southwestern Louisiana prairie farming regions, small settlements on ridges of high ground or pine forest "islands" may be entirely composed of descendants of Black Creoles who were freed or escaped from plantations to the east.

Although Houston has a Creole-influenced Black neighborhood, in West Coast cities people are affiliated through networks maintained in Catholic churches, schools, and dance halls.

In rural plantation areas and some New Orleans Neighborhoods, Creole houses are a regionally distinctive form. These cottage dwellings combine Norman influences in roofline and sometimes historic construction with half-timbering and bousillage mud and moss plastering , with Caribbean Influences seen in porches, upturned lower rooflines false galleries , louvered doors and windows, and elevated construction.

Most Creole cottages are two rooms wide, constructed of cypress with continuous pitch roofs and central chimneys. They were expanded and decorated according to the wealth and needs of the family.

The basic Creole house, especially more elite plantation versions, has become a model for Louisiana suburban subdivisions.

Other major house types include the California bungalow, shotgun houses, and mobile homes. Of these, the shotgun shows particular Louisiana characteristics that relate it to the dwellings in the Caribbean and West Africa.

It is one room wide and two or more rooms long. Although shotgun houses are often associated with plantation quarters, they have frequently been gentrified in construction for middle-class Creoles and others by being widened, elevated, trimmed with Victorian gingerbread, and otherwise made fancier than the unpainted board-and-batten shacks of slaves and sharecroppers.

All these house forms and their many variations, often painted in deep primary colors and rich pastels, create a Louisiana Creole-built environment look that has come to symbolize the region as a whole.

Subsistence and Commercial Activities. In rural French Louisiana, Creoles have historically been farmers and itinerant agricultural laborers raising sugar cane, rice, sweet potatoes, and, more recently, soybeans.

Chickens, ducks, pigs, cattle, and goats are found in plantation regions and prairie farmsteads. Hunting and, to a lesser extent, fishing may also add to the household economy.

In towns and New Orleans, many Creoles have worked as artisans and craftspeople. Today, oil-related jobs and construction and service industries are added to the mix.

Creoles also hold an array of mainstream jobs, such as teaching, law enforcement, medicine, and so on. While some Creoles run grocery and sundries stores, most people outside New Orleans neighborhoods or rural Creole settlements are not merchants.

Industrial Arts. Urban Creoles and town dwellers have a long association in the skilled crafts. In New Orleans there is a tradition of Creole plaster work, wrought iron, and carpentry.

In rural areas also, carpentry is often a Creole occupation. Division of Labor. In rural areas, women oversee the Domestic sphere, raising children, cooking, washing clothes, and tending to yard-related animals and gardens.

Men are more oriented toward work in cash jobs or as farmers, with additional subsistence derived from hunting, fishing, and gathering firewood.

Girls and small children tend to assist their mother, and older boys and young men may work with their father.

Increasing urbanization in employment venue and penetration of mainstream society with less gender-specific work roles is transforming the rural division of labor.

In an established urban setting like New Orleans, men have similarly tended to be those who labored outside the home in the crafts previously noted, while women have been primary in the Domestic sphere.

When women do work outside the home, roles as teachers, nurses, and professional support services dominate.

Particularly in New Orleans, middle-class Creoles have entered all layers of professional society, though discrimination remains a problem there and throughout the region.

Land Tenure. A wide variety of situations obtains. Some Creoles inherited extensive family holdings that date to antebellum days.

Other holdings, particularly on the prairies, derive from nineteenth-century settlement claims. Some families obtained land after the Civil War through "forty acres and a mule" redistribution.

Kin Groups and Descent. Extensive work on Creole Kinship has not been done except for historical genealogical studies.

In a society where much is made of perceived race and free ancestors, Creole concern often focuses on powerful forebears who were free in the antebellum era.

In some cases, well-known female ancestors receive special attention. Women in placage relationships to White planters and mercantilists were often granted freedom and, as such, became symbols of family settlement and economic power for succeeding generations.

Connection to European ancestry is also often stressed, though since the civil rights era and in a time of heightened ethnic awareness, pride in African ancestry has increased.

Kinship Terminology. Most Creole kinship terms are from the French, as in mere, pere, frere, belle soeur, beau-pere, and so on. Avuncular figures called nonc, often fictive uncles, are common in rural communities as sources of respected male wisdom and support.

Nicknaming is common, with attributes from childhood or physical appearance as a focus, such as 'Tite Boy, Noir, 'Tite Poop.

Some families appear to have African-rooted nicknames such as Nene , Soso, or Guinee. Marriage within the Catholic church usually takes place during the partners' teens and early twenties.

Among upper-caste Creole families, a marriage into a similar status family or with a White may be regarded as successful. As social boundaries with African-Americans are increasingly blurred, marriage outside the Creole community in this direction can serve as an affirmation of connection to the Black American mainstream.

Because Louisiana civil law derives in part from the Napoleonic Code, common-law marriage based on a period of cohabitation is generally accorded legal status.

There is a tendency to stay within or near Creole settlements and Neighborhoods. In rural areas, families may divide land to assist a new couple.

Childbearing is encouraged and families with an agrarian base are large by American standards. Extended families in close proximity allow for mutual child rearing with assistance from older girls.

Widowed elders often reside with children and grandchildren. Within the domestic sphere, much respect is accorded women and elders who emphasize values of self-improvement through church attendance, education, and hard work.

Young men may challenge these values of respectability by associating outside family settings with people in bars and dance halls, and in work situations with other men.

Creole men in groups may assert their reputation as great lovers, sportsmen, cooks, dancers, talkers, and workers, but over time they are expected to settle into a respectable home life.

Much is made of the distinction between individuals who choose the street and club life over home and church life. Thus, parishes rather than counties exist, with police juries as consular boards.

Parish sheriffs and large landowners wield much political power. Creoles generally are not at the top of regional power structures, though they do serve on police juries and school boards and as mayors and in the Louisiana state house.

In New Orleans, two Creole mayors have served in the last decade. Creole landowners, independent grocers, dance hall operators, priests, and educators are power figures in rural Creole Communities.

Such respected men are usually public articulators of social control, upward mobility, Creole cultural equity, and relations to government entities.

In addition, social advancement and community support and expressive recreation is organized through associations such as Mardi Gras crews, Knights of Peter Klaver Black Catholic men's society , burial societies, and, particularly in New Orleans, social aide and pleasure clubs.

Recently, official ethnic organizations and events have emerged, such as Creole Inc. It is especially in the realms of ritual, festival, food, and music as expressive cultural forms that Creole identity within the region is asserted and through which the culture as a whole is recognized, though often misrepresented, nationally and internationally.

Religious Beliefs. Creoles are, like most southern Louisianians, predominantly Catholic. Southern Louisiana has the largest per capita Black Catholic population in the country.

Historically, the Creole churches and parishes, especially those in rural areas and some poorer urban neighborhoods, have been viewed by the church as missionary districts.

In addition to various Irish and French-Canadian clergy who have worked in Louisiana, the Baltimore-based Josephite Fathers have long operated in the Black Creole communities.

Beyond the official dogma and structures of the Catholic church, a wide range of folk religious practices has flourished, drawing upon African influences, medieval Catholicism, African-American belief and ritual systems, and Native American medicinal and belief systems.

Home altars with saints, statues, and holy water are widely used. Houses are trimmed with blessed palms or magnolias in the form of crosses over the doors.

Creole Louisiana is probably best known for its association with voodoo voudun in Haiti as an Afro-Catholic set of religious practices.

Unlike Haiti, Louisiana Black Catholics have remained more connected to official church practices; thus African retentions are less marked.

The practices of healers, spiritualists, and voodoo specialists who utilize an eclectic mix of prayers, candles, special saints, and charms for good or ill is carried on in settings that range from grossly commercial to private within neighborhoods and Communities.

Probably the strongest carrier of African-based religious tradition in both Creole and non-Creole Black communities in New Orleans are the spiritual churches.

The commonly accepted definition of Louisiana Creole today is a person descended from ancestors in Louisiana before the Louisiana Purchase by the United States in Louisiana attracted considerably fewer French colonists than did its West Indian colonies.

After the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, which lasted more than two months, the colonists had numerous challenges ahead of them in the Louisiana frontier.

Their living conditions were difficult: uprooted, they had to face a new, often hostile, environment, with difficult climate and tropical diseases.

Many of these immigrants died during the maritime crossing or soon after their arrival. Hurricanes , unknown in France, periodically struck the coast, destroying whole villages.

The Mississippi Delta was plagued with periodic yellow fever epidemics. Europeans also brought the Eurasian diseases of malaria and cholera , which flourished along with mosquitoes and poor sanitation.

These conditions slowed colonization. Moreover, French villages and forts were not always sufficient to protect from enemy offensives.

Attacks by Native Americans represented a real threat to the groups of isolated colonists. The Natchez killed colonists in Lower Louisiana in retaliation for encroachment by the Europeans.

The Natchez warriors took Fort Rosalie now Natchez, Mississippi by surprise, killing many individuals. During the next two years, the French attacked the Natchez in return, causing them to flee or, when captured, be deported as slaves to their Caribbean colony of Saint-Domingue later Haiti.

Aside from French government representatives and soldiers, colonists included mostly young men who were recruited in French ports or in Paris. Some served as indentured servants ; they were required to remain in Louisiana for a length of time, fixed by the contract of service, to pay back the cost of passage and board.

During this time, they were "temporary semi-slaves". The king financed dowries for each girl. This practice was similar to events in 17th-century Quebec: about filles du roi daughters of the king were recruited to immigrate to New France under the monetary sponsorship of Louis XIV.

In addition, French authorities deported some female criminals to the colony. Most of the women quickly found husbands among the male residents of the colony.

These women, many of whom were most likely prostitutes or felons, were known as The Baleine Brides. Historian Joan Martin maintains that there is little documentation that casket girls considered among the ancestors of French Creoles were transported to Louisiana.

The Ursuline order of nuns, who were said to chaperone the girls until they married, have denied the casket girl myth as well.

Martin suggests this account was mythical. The French colony was ceded to Spain in the secret Treaty of Fontainebleau , in the final stages of the Seven Years' War , which took place on two continents.

The Spanish were slow and reluctant to fully occupy the colony, however, and did not do so until That year Spain abolished Indian slavery. In addition, Spanish liberal manumission policies contributed to the growth of the population of Creoles of Color, particularly in New Orleans.

These buildings were designed by French architects, as there were no Spanish architects in Louisiana. The buildings of the French Quarter are of a Mediterranean style also found in southern France.

The mixed-race Creole descendants, who developed as a third class of Creoles of color Gens de Couleur Libres , particularly in New Orleans, were strongly influenced by the French Catholic culture.

By the end of the 18th century, many mixed-race Creoles had gained education and tended to work in artisan or skilled trades; a relatively high number were property and slave owners.

The Louisiana Creole language developed primarily from the influence of French and African languages, enabling slaves from different tribes and colonists to communicate.

He had been trying to regain control of the island colony following a multi-year slave rebellion. Thousands of refugees from the revolution, both whites and affranchis or Gens de Couleur Libres , arrived in New Orleans, often bringing their African slaves with them.

These groups had a strong influence on the city, increasing the number of French speakers, Africans with strong traditional customs, and Creoles of Color.

The Haitian Revolution ended in the slaves gaining independence in , establishing the second republic in the Western Hemisphere and the first republic led by black people.

While Governor Claiborne and other officials wanted to keep out additional free black men, the French Creoles wanted to increase the French-speaking population.

Later European immigrants included Irish, Germans, and Italians. During the antebellum years, the major commodity crops were sugar and cotton, cultivated on large plantations along the Mississippi River outside the city with slave labor.

Plantations were developed in the French style, with narrow waterfronts for access on the river, and long plots running back inland. Nearly 90 percent of early 19th century immigrants to the territory settled in New Orleans.

The migration from Cuba brought 2, whites; 3, Gens de Couleur Libres ; and 3, enslaved persons of African descent, which in total doubled the city's population.

The city became 63 percent black in population, a greater proportion than Charleston, South Carolina 's 53 percent.

The transfer of the French colony to the United States and the arrival of Anglo-Americans from New England and the South resulted in a cultural confrontation.

Some Americans were reportedly shocked by aspects of the culture and French-speaking society of the newly acquired territory: the predominance of the French language and Roman Catholicism, the free class of mixed-race people, and the strong African traditions of enslaved peoples.

Claiborne , to change it. Particularly in the slave society of the South , slavery had become a racial caste. Since the late 17th century, children in the colonies took the status of their mothers at birth; therefore, all children of enslaved mothers were born into slavery, regardless of the race or status of their fathers.

This produced many mixed-race slaves over the generations. Whites classified society into whites and blacks the latter associated strongly with slaves.

Although there was a growing population of free people of color , particularly in the Upper South, they generally did not have the same rights and freedoms as Creoles of Color in Louisiana under French and Spanish rule, who held office in some cases and served in the militia.

For example, around 80 free Creoles of Color were recruited into the militia that fought in the Battle of Baton Rouge in When Claiborne made English the official language of the territory, the French Creoles of New Orleans were outraged, and reportedly paraded in protest in the streets.

They rejected the Americans' effort to transform them overnight. In addition, upper-class French Creoles thought that many of the arriving Americans were uncouth, especially the rough Kentucky boatmen Kaintucks who regularly visited the city, having maneuvered flatboats down the Mississippi River filled with goods for market.

Realizing that he needed local support, Claiborne restored French as an official language. In all forms of government, public forums, and in the Catholic Church , French continued to be used.

Most importantly, Louisiana French and Louisiana Creole remained the languages of the majority of the population of the state, leaving English and Spanish as minority languages.

Colonists referred to themselves and enslaved Black people who were native-born as creole, to distinguish them from new arrivals from France and Spain as well as Africa.

Like "Cajun," the term "Creole" is a popular name used to describe cultures in the southern Louisiana area. Generally, however, Creoles felt the need to distinguish themselves from the influx of American and European immigrants coming into the area after the Louisiana Purchase of As a group, mixed-race Creoles rapidly began to acquire education, skills many in New Orleans worked as craftsmen and artisans , businesses and property.

They were overwhelmingly Catholic, spoke Colonial French although some also spoke Louisiana Creole , and kept up many French social customs, modified by other parts of their ancestry and Louisiana culture.

The Creoles of Color often married among themselves to maintain their class and social culture. The French-speaking mixed-race population came to be called "Creoles of color".

It was said that "New Orleans persons of color were far wealthier, more secure and more established than freed unmixed Black Creoles and Cajuns elsewhere in Louisiana.

This three-tiered society included white Creoles; a prosperous, educated group of mixed-race Creoles of European, African and Native American descent; and the far larger class of African and Black Creole slaves.

The status of mixed-race Creoles of color Gens de Couleur Libres was one they guarded carefully. By law they enjoyed most of the same rights and privileges as white Creoles.

They could and often did challenge the law in court and won cases against white Creoles. They were property owners and created schools for their children.

In many cases though, these different tiers viewed themselves as one group, as other Iberoamerican and Francophone ethnic groups commonly did.

Race did not play as central a role as it does in Anglo-American culture: oftentimes, race was not a concern, but instead, family standing and wealth were key distinguishing factors in New Orleans and beyond.

The groups Latin and Anglo New Orleaneans had "two different schools of politics [and differed] radically One hopes [Latins], and the other doubts [Anglos].

Thus we often perceive that one makes every effort to acquire merits, the other to gain advantages.

One aspires to equality, the other to identity. One will forget that he is a Negro to think that he is a man; the other will forget that he is a man to think that he is a Negro.

After the United States acquired the area in the Louisiana Purchase, mixed-race Creoles of Color resisted American attempts to impose their binary racial culture.

In the American South slavery had become virtually a racial caste, in which most people of any African descent were considered to be lower in status.

The planter society viewed it as a binary culture, with whites and blacks the latter including everyone other than whites, although for some years they counted mulattos separately on censuses.

While the American Civil War promised rights and opportunities for the enslaved, the Creoles of Color , who had long been free before the war, worried about losing their identity and position.

Dumas, emancipated all of his slaves and organized them into a company in the Second Regiment of the Louisiana Native Guards. Following the Union victory in the Civil War, the Louisiana three-tiered society was gradually overrun by more Anglo-Americans, who classified everyone by the South's binary division of "black" and "white".

During the Reconstruction era , Democrats regained power in the Louisiana state legislature by using paramilitary groups like the White League to suppress black voting.

The Democrats enforced white supremacy by passing Jim Crow laws and a constitution near the turn of the 20th century that effectively disenfranchised most blacks and Creoles of color through discriminatory application of voter registration and electoral laws.

Some white Creoles, such as the ex-Confederate general Pierre G. Beauregard , advocated against racism, and became proponents of Black Civil Rights and Black suffrage, involving themselves in the creation of the Louisiana Unification Movement that called for equal rights for blacks, denounced discrimination and the abandonment of segregation.

Ferguson in supported the binary society and the policy of "separate but equal" facilities which were seldom achieved in fact in the segregated South.

According to Virginia R. As bright as these men clearly were, they still became engulfed in the reclassification process intent on salvaging white Creole status.

Their speeches consequently read more like sympathetic eulogies than historical analysis. Sybil Kein suggests that, because of the white Creoles struggle for redefinition, they were particularly hostile to the exploration by the writer George Washington Cable of the multi-racial Creole society in his stories and novels.

She believes that in The Grandissimes , he exposed white Creoles' preoccupation with covering up blood connections with Creoles of Color.

She writes:. There was a veritable explosion of defenses of Creole ancestry. The more novelist George Washington Cable engaged his characters in family feuds over inheritance, embroiled them in sexual unions with blacks and mulattoes and made them seem particularly defensive about their presumably pure Caucasian ancestry, the more vociferously the white Creoles responded, insisting on purity of white ancestry as a requirement for identification as Creole.

In the s, populist Governor Huey Long satirized such Creole claims, saying that you could feed all the "pure white" people in New Orleans with a cup of beans and a half a cup of rice, and still have food left over!

In , in Sunseri v. Cassagne —the Louisiana Supreme Court proclaimed traceability of African ancestry to be the only requirement for definition of colored.

And during her time as Registrar of the Bureau of Vital Statistics for the City of New Orleans — , Naomi Drake tried to impose these binary racial classifications.

She unilaterally changed records to classify mixed-race individuals as black if she found they had any black or African ancestry, an application of hypodescent rules, and did not notify people of her actions.

Among the practices Drake directed was having her workers check obituaries. They were to assess whether the obituary of a person identified as white provided clues that might help show the individual was "really" black, such as having black relatives, services at a traditionally black funeral home, or burial at a traditionally black cemetery—evidence which she would use to ensure the death certificate classified the person as black.

Not everyone accepted Drake's actions and people filed thousands of cases against the office to have racial classifications changed and to protest her withholding legal documents of vital records.

This caused much embarrassment and disruption, finally causing the city to fire her in Louisiana Creole cuisine is recognized as a unique style of cooking originating in New Orleans, starting in the early s.

It makes use of what is sometimes called the Holy trinity : onions, celery and green peppers. It has developed primarily from various European, African, and Native American historic culinary influences.

A distinctly different style of Creole or Cajun cooking exists in Acadiana. It is a roux-based meat stew or soup, sometimes made with some combination of any of the following: seafood usually shrimp, crabs, with oysters optional, or occasionally crawfish , sausage, chicken hen or rooster , alligator, turtle, rabbit, duck, deer or wild boar.

Both meat and seafood versions also include the "Holy Trinity" and are served like stew over rice. It developed from French colonists trying to make bouillabaisse with New World ingredients.

Starting with aromatic seasonings, the French used onions and celery as in a traditional mirepoix , but lacked carrots, so they substituted green bell peppers.

Africans contributed okra , traditionally grown in regions of Africa, the Middle East and Spain. In Louisiana French dialects, the word "gombo" still refers to both the hybrid stew and the vegetable.

The French later favored a roux for thickening. In the 19th century, the Italians added garlic. They introduced having buttered French bread as a side to eating gumbo, as well as a side of German-style potato salad.

Jambalaya is the second of the famous Louisiana Creole dishes. It developed in the European communities of New Orleans.

It combined ham with sausage, rice and tomato as a variation of the Spanish dish paella , and was based on locally available ingredients.

The name for jambalaya comes from the Occitan language spoken in southern France, where it means "mash-up.

Today, jambalaya is commonly made with seafood usually shrimp or chicken, or a combination of shrimp and chicken.

Most versions contain smoked sausage , more commonly used instead of ham in modern versions. However, a version of jambalaya that uses ham with shrimp may be closer to the original Creole dish.

Jambalaya is prepared in two ways: "red" and "brown". Red is the tomato-based version native to New Orleans; it is also found in parts of Iberia and St.

Martin parishes, and generally uses shrimp or chicken stock. The red-style Creole jambalaya is the original version.

The "brown" version is associated with Cajun cooking and does not include tomatoes. Red beans and rice is a dish of Louisiana and Caribbean influence, originating in New Orleans.

It contains red beans, the "holy trinity" of onion, celery, and bell pepper, and often andouille smoked sausage, pickled pork, or smoked ham hocks.

The beans are served over white rice. It is one of the famous dishes in Louisiana, and is associated with "washday Monday".

It could be cooked all day over a low flame while the women of the house attended to washing the family's clothes.

It is often considered the Creole music of Louisiana. As Louisiana French and Louisiana Creole was the lingua franca of the prairies of southwest Louisiana, zydeco was initially sung only in Louisiana French or Creole.

An instrument unique to zydeco is a form of washboard called the frottoir or scrub board. This is a vest made of corrugated aluminum, and played by the musician working bottle openers, bottle caps or spoons up and down the length of the vest.

Another instrument used in both Zydeco and Cajun music since the s is the accordion. Zydeco music makes use of the piano or button accordion while Cajun music is played on the diatonic accordion, or Cajun accordion, often called a "squeeze box".

Cajun musicians also use the fiddle and steel guitar more often than do those playing Zydeco. Zydeco can be traced to the music of enslaved African people from the 19th century.

It is represented in Slave Songs of the United States , first published in The final seven songs in that work are printed with melody along with text in Louisiana Creole.

These and many other songs were sung by slaves on plantations, especially in St. This folklore was carried by their ancestors from the Canary Islands to Louisiana in the 18th century.

Louisiana French LF is the regional variety of the French language spoken throughout contemporary Louisiana by individuals who today identify ethno-racially as Creole, Cajun or French, as well as some who identify as Spanish particularly in New Iberia and Baton Rouge , where the Creole people are a mix of French and Spanish and speak the French language [2] , African-American, white, Irish, or of other origins.

Individuals and groups of individuals through innovation, adaptation, and contact continually enrich the French language spoken in Louisiana, seasoning it with linguistic features that can sometimes only be found in Louisiana.

Roman and Alexandre Mouton. According to the historian Paul Lachance, "the addition of white immigrants to the white creole population enabled French-speakers to remain a majority of the white population [in New Orleans] until almost If a substantial proportion of Creoles of Color and slaves had not also spoken French, however, the Gallic community would have become a minority of the total population as early as Today, it is generally in more rural areas that people continue to speak Louisiana French or Louisiana Creole.

On the other hand, Spanish usage has fallen markedly over the years among the Spanish Creoles. Still, in the first half of twentieth century, most of the people of Saint Bernard and Galveztown spoke the Spanish language with the Canarian Spanish dialect the ancestors of these Creoles were from the Canary Islands of the 18th century, but the government of Louisiana imposed the use of English in these communities, especially in the schools e.

Saint Bernard where if a teacher heard children speaking Spanish she would fine them and punish them. Now, only some people over the age of 80 can speak Spanish in these communities.

Most of the youth of Saint Bernard can only speak English. It has colonial French roots. It is a season of parades , balls some of them masquerade balls and king cake parties.

Creole Black Women Video

Louisiana Creole and Cajuns: What's the Difference? Race, Ethnicity, History and Genetics

A whole lot of multiple definitions, actually. The simplest and shortest but probably least relevant definition of "Creole" is "born in the colonies.

Creole tomatoes were developed in the early s as a hardy variety that grew well in the Louisiana heat. But Creole came to refer to people of European descent who were born in the French and Spanish colonies, and later often implied people of mixed European and African and occasionally Native American descent.

At this point, both of these definitions are still true. You'll hear references to "white Creoles" or " old-line Creole families," which indicates direct descendants of original French settlers to the city.

Creole is also a term of identification for people of color of mixed African and European descent, again largely from families who have been in Louisiana since colonial days.

And to confuse things further, plenty of people identify as both, and certainly outsiders have no real way of knowing the difference, the latter complexity being a major facet of the famous Plessy vs.

Ferguson case. Short answer: if you're not from here, you might never understand. And that's okay. To complicate things further, most people of color in the Cajun regions of Louisiana which is to say, most of South Louisiana outside of New Orleans and Baton Rouge, but particularly around Lafayette and Lake Charles self-identify as Creole, even if they have only minimal European ancestry.

Creole in Cajun Country simply means "historically francophone African-American. To confuse things further, many of these rural black Creole folks have urbanized as well, but largely in the oil boom cities of Lafayette, Lake Charles, Beaumont, and Houston, which is where zydeco pioneer Clifton Chenier was living when he made the records that gave the genre its name.

But don't mistake that culture for the aforementioned Creoles of Color from New Orleans -- they are widespread branches of the same family tree.

The former syncretized disparate genres to create zydeco, and the latter did the same but came out with jazz.

Still confused? Some Americans were reportedly shocked by aspects of the culture and French-speaking society of the newly acquired territory: the predominance of the French language and Roman Catholicism, the free class of mixed-race people, and the strong African traditions of enslaved peoples.

Claiborne , to change it. Particularly in the slave society of the South , slavery had become a racial caste.

Since the late 17th century, children in the colonies took the status of their mothers at birth; therefore, all children of enslaved mothers were born into slavery, regardless of the race or status of their fathers.

This produced many mixed-race slaves over the generations. Whites classified society into whites and blacks the latter associated strongly with slaves.

Although there was a growing population of free people of color , particularly in the Upper South, they generally did not have the same rights and freedoms as Creoles of Color in Louisiana under French and Spanish rule, who held office in some cases and served in the militia.

For example, around 80 free Creoles of Color were recruited into the militia that fought in the Battle of Baton Rouge in When Claiborne made English the official language of the territory, the French Creoles of New Orleans were outraged, and reportedly paraded in protest in the streets.

They rejected the Americans' effort to transform them overnight. In addition, upper-class French Creoles thought that many of the arriving Americans were uncouth, especially the rough Kentucky boatmen Kaintucks who regularly visited the city, having maneuvered flatboats down the Mississippi River filled with goods for market.

Realizing that he needed local support, Claiborne restored French as an official language. In all forms of government, public forums, and in the Catholic Church , French continued to be used.

Most importantly, Louisiana French and Louisiana Creole remained the languages of the majority of the population of the state, leaving English and Spanish as minority languages.

Colonists referred to themselves and enslaved Black people who were native-born as creole, to distinguish them from new arrivals from France and Spain as well as Africa.

Like "Cajun," the term "Creole" is a popular name used to describe cultures in the southern Louisiana area. Generally, however, Creoles felt the need to distinguish themselves from the influx of American and European immigrants coming into the area after the Louisiana Purchase of As a group, mixed-race Creoles rapidly began to acquire education, skills many in New Orleans worked as craftsmen and artisans , businesses and property.

They were overwhelmingly Catholic, spoke Colonial French although some also spoke Louisiana Creole , and kept up many French social customs, modified by other parts of their ancestry and Louisiana culture.

The Creoles of Color often married among themselves to maintain their class and social culture.

The French-speaking mixed-race population came to be called "Creoles of color". It was said that "New Orleans persons of color were far wealthier, more secure and more established than freed unmixed Black Creoles and Cajuns elsewhere in Louisiana.

This three-tiered society included white Creoles; a prosperous, educated group of mixed-race Creoles of European, African and Native American descent; and the far larger class of African and Black Creole slaves.

The status of mixed-race Creoles of color Gens de Couleur Libres was one they guarded carefully. By law they enjoyed most of the same rights and privileges as white Creoles.

They could and often did challenge the law in court and won cases against white Creoles. They were property owners and created schools for their children.

In many cases though, these different tiers viewed themselves as one group, as other Iberoamerican and Francophone ethnic groups commonly did.

Race did not play as central a role as it does in Anglo-American culture: oftentimes, race was not a concern, but instead, family standing and wealth were key distinguishing factors in New Orleans and beyond.

The groups Latin and Anglo New Orleaneans had "two different schools of politics [and differed] radically One hopes [Latins], and the other doubts [Anglos].

Thus we often perceive that one makes every effort to acquire merits, the other to gain advantages. One aspires to equality, the other to identity.

One will forget that he is a Negro to think that he is a man; the other will forget that he is a man to think that he is a Negro.

After the United States acquired the area in the Louisiana Purchase, mixed-race Creoles of Color resisted American attempts to impose their binary racial culture.

In the American South slavery had become virtually a racial caste, in which most people of any African descent were considered to be lower in status.

The planter society viewed it as a binary culture, with whites and blacks the latter including everyone other than whites, although for some years they counted mulattos separately on censuses.

While the American Civil War promised rights and opportunities for the enslaved, the Creoles of Color , who had long been free before the war, worried about losing their identity and position.

Dumas, emancipated all of his slaves and organized them into a company in the Second Regiment of the Louisiana Native Guards.

Following the Union victory in the Civil War, the Louisiana three-tiered society was gradually overrun by more Anglo-Americans, who classified everyone by the South's binary division of "black" and "white".

During the Reconstruction era , Democrats regained power in the Louisiana state legislature by using paramilitary groups like the White League to suppress black voting.

The Democrats enforced white supremacy by passing Jim Crow laws and a constitution near the turn of the 20th century that effectively disenfranchised most blacks and Creoles of color through discriminatory application of voter registration and electoral laws.

Some white Creoles, such as the ex-Confederate general Pierre G. Beauregard , advocated against racism, and became proponents of Black Civil Rights and Black suffrage, involving themselves in the creation of the Louisiana Unification Movement that called for equal rights for blacks, denounced discrimination and the abandonment of segregation.

Ferguson in supported the binary society and the policy of "separate but equal" facilities which were seldom achieved in fact in the segregated South.

According to Virginia R. As bright as these men clearly were, they still became engulfed in the reclassification process intent on salvaging white Creole status.

Their speeches consequently read more like sympathetic eulogies than historical analysis. Sybil Kein suggests that, because of the white Creoles struggle for redefinition, they were particularly hostile to the exploration by the writer George Washington Cable of the multi-racial Creole society in his stories and novels.

She believes that in The Grandissimes , he exposed white Creoles' preoccupation with covering up blood connections with Creoles of Color.

She writes:. There was a veritable explosion of defenses of Creole ancestry. The more novelist George Washington Cable engaged his characters in family feuds over inheritance, embroiled them in sexual unions with blacks and mulattoes and made them seem particularly defensive about their presumably pure Caucasian ancestry, the more vociferously the white Creoles responded, insisting on purity of white ancestry as a requirement for identification as Creole.

In the s, populist Governor Huey Long satirized such Creole claims, saying that you could feed all the "pure white" people in New Orleans with a cup of beans and a half a cup of rice, and still have food left over!

In , in Sunseri v. Cassagne —the Louisiana Supreme Court proclaimed traceability of African ancestry to be the only requirement for definition of colored.

And during her time as Registrar of the Bureau of Vital Statistics for the City of New Orleans — , Naomi Drake tried to impose these binary racial classifications.

She unilaterally changed records to classify mixed-race individuals as black if she found they had any black or African ancestry, an application of hypodescent rules, and did not notify people of her actions.

Among the practices Drake directed was having her workers check obituaries. They were to assess whether the obituary of a person identified as white provided clues that might help show the individual was "really" black, such as having black relatives, services at a traditionally black funeral home, or burial at a traditionally black cemetery—evidence which she would use to ensure the death certificate classified the person as black.

Not everyone accepted Drake's actions and people filed thousands of cases against the office to have racial classifications changed and to protest her withholding legal documents of vital records.

This caused much embarrassment and disruption, finally causing the city to fire her in Louisiana Creole cuisine is recognized as a unique style of cooking originating in New Orleans, starting in the early s.

It makes use of what is sometimes called the Holy trinity : onions, celery and green peppers. It has developed primarily from various European, African, and Native American historic culinary influences.

A distinctly different style of Creole or Cajun cooking exists in Acadiana. It is a roux-based meat stew or soup, sometimes made with some combination of any of the following: seafood usually shrimp, crabs, with oysters optional, or occasionally crawfish , sausage, chicken hen or rooster , alligator, turtle, rabbit, duck, deer or wild boar.

Both meat and seafood versions also include the "Holy Trinity" and are served like stew over rice. It developed from French colonists trying to make bouillabaisse with New World ingredients.

Starting with aromatic seasonings, the French used onions and celery as in a traditional mirepoix , but lacked carrots, so they substituted green bell peppers.

Africans contributed okra , traditionally grown in regions of Africa, the Middle East and Spain. In Louisiana French dialects, the word "gombo" still refers to both the hybrid stew and the vegetable.

The French later favored a roux for thickening. In the 19th century, the Italians added garlic. They introduced having buttered French bread as a side to eating gumbo, as well as a side of German-style potato salad.

Jambalaya is the second of the famous Louisiana Creole dishes. It developed in the European communities of New Orleans.

It combined ham with sausage, rice and tomato as a variation of the Spanish dish paella , and was based on locally available ingredients. The name for jambalaya comes from the Occitan language spoken in southern France, where it means "mash-up.

Today, jambalaya is commonly made with seafood usually shrimp or chicken, or a combination of shrimp and chicken.

Most versions contain smoked sausage , more commonly used instead of ham in modern versions. However, a version of jambalaya that uses ham with shrimp may be closer to the original Creole dish.

Jambalaya is prepared in two ways: "red" and "brown". Red is the tomato-based version native to New Orleans; it is also found in parts of Iberia and St.

Martin parishes, and generally uses shrimp or chicken stock. The red-style Creole jambalaya is the original version.

The "brown" version is associated with Cajun cooking and does not include tomatoes. Red beans and rice is a dish of Louisiana and Caribbean influence, originating in New Orleans.

It contains red beans, the "holy trinity" of onion, celery, and bell pepper, and often andouille smoked sausage, pickled pork, or smoked ham hocks.

The beans are served over white rice. It is one of the famous dishes in Louisiana, and is associated with "washday Monday".

It could be cooked all day over a low flame while the women of the house attended to washing the family's clothes. It is often considered the Creole music of Louisiana.

As Louisiana French and Louisiana Creole was the lingua franca of the prairies of southwest Louisiana, zydeco was initially sung only in Louisiana French or Creole.

An instrument unique to zydeco is a form of washboard called the frottoir or scrub board. This is a vest made of corrugated aluminum, and played by the musician working bottle openers, bottle caps or spoons up and down the length of the vest.

Another instrument used in both Zydeco and Cajun music since the s is the accordion. Zydeco music makes use of the piano or button accordion while Cajun music is played on the diatonic accordion, or Cajun accordion, often called a "squeeze box".

Cajun musicians also use the fiddle and steel guitar more often than do those playing Zydeco. Zydeco can be traced to the music of enslaved African people from the 19th century.

It is represented in Slave Songs of the United States , first published in The final seven songs in that work are printed with melody along with text in Louisiana Creole.

These and many other songs were sung by slaves on plantations, especially in St. This folklore was carried by their ancestors from the Canary Islands to Louisiana in the 18th century.

Louisiana French LF is the regional variety of the French language spoken throughout contemporary Louisiana by individuals who today identify ethno-racially as Creole, Cajun or French, as well as some who identify as Spanish particularly in New Iberia and Baton Rouge , where the Creole people are a mix of French and Spanish and speak the French language [2] , African-American, white, Irish, or of other origins.

Individuals and groups of individuals through innovation, adaptation, and contact continually enrich the French language spoken in Louisiana, seasoning it with linguistic features that can sometimes only be found in Louisiana.

Roman and Alexandre Mouton. According to the historian Paul Lachance, "the addition of white immigrants to the white creole population enabled French-speakers to remain a majority of the white population [in New Orleans] until almost Both mixed race and European Creole groups share many traditions and language, but their socio-economic roots differed in the original period of Louisiana history.

The term is often used to mean simply "pertaining to the New Orleans area," but this, too, is not historically accurate.

Here, Creole is used to describe descendants of French or Spanish colonists with a mixed racial heritage—French or Spanish mixed with African American or Native American.

In Sierra Leone , the mingling of newly free black and mixed race immigrants from the Western hemisphere and Liberated Africans - such as the Akan , Bacongo , Igbo people , and Yoruba people - over several generations in the late 18th and early 19th centuries led to the eventual creation of the aristocratic ethnic group now known as the Creoles.

Thoroughly westernized in their manners and bourgeois in their methods, the Creoles established a comfortable dominance in the country through a combination of British colonial favouritism and political and economic activity.

Their influence in the modern republic remains considerable, and their language Krio serves as an important lingua franca. The extension of these Sierra Leoneans' business and religious activities to neighbouring Nigeria in the late 19th and early 20th centuries - where many of them had ancestral ties - subsequently caused the creation of an offshoot in that country, the Saros.

Now often considered to be part of the wider Yoruba ethnicity, the Saros have been prominent in politics, the law, religion, the arts and journalism.

Only a few of these groups have retained the name crioulo or variations of it:. The usage of creole in the islands of the southwest of the Indian Ocean varies according to the island.

In Mauritius , the term Creole refers to people who have the ancestry of Africans with some French and Indian blood. The term also indicates the same to the people of Seychelles.

In all three societies, creole also refers to the new languages derived from French and incorporating other languages.

In regions that were formerly colonies of Spain , the Spanish word criollo implying "native" or "local" historically denoted a class in the colonial caste system , comprising people born in the colonies but of totally or at least largely Spanish descent.

The word came to refer to things distinctive of the region, as it is used today, in expressions such as "comida criolla" "country" food from the area.

In the latter period of settlement of Latin America called La Colonia , the Bourbon Spanish Crown preferred Spanish-born Peninsulares literally "born in the Iberian Peninsula " over Criollos for the top military, administrative, and religious offices due to the former mismanagement of the colonies on a previous Hasburg era.

The racially based caste system was in force throughout the Spanish colonies in the Americas , since the 16th century. By the 19th century, this discrimination and the example of the American Revolution and the ideals of the Enlightenment eventually led the Spanish American Criollo elite to rebel against the Spanish rule.

With the support of the lower classes, they engaged Spain in the Spanish American wars of independence — , which ended with the break-up of the former Spanish Empire in the Americas into a number of independent republics.

Racial mixture in the Spanish Philippines occurred mostly during the Spanish colonial period from the 16th to 19th century.

The same Spanish racial caste system imposed in Latin America extended also to the Philippines, with a few major differences.

Persons of pure Spanish descent born in the Spanish Philippines were those to whom the term Filipinos originally applied, though they were also called Insulares "islanders", i.

Spaniard born in the Philippine islands or Criollos "Creoles", i. Persons of pure Spanish descent, along with many mestizos and castizos, living in the Philippines but born in Spanish America were classified as "Americanos".

The Philippine-born children of "Americanos" were classified as "Filipinos". During this era, the term "Filipinos" had not yet extended to include the majority indigenous Austronesian population of the Philippines to whom Filipinos has now shifted to imply.

The social stratification based on class that continues to this day in the Philippines has its beginnings in the Spanish colonial era with this caste system.

Officially, however, the Spanish colonial caste system based on race was abolished after the Philippines' independence from Spain in , and the word 'Filipino' expanded to include the entire population of the Philippines regardless of racial ancestry.

In many parts of the Southern Caribbean , the term Creole people is used to refer to the mixed-race descendants of Europeans and Africans born in the islands.

Over time, there was intermarriage with residents from Asia as well. They eventually formed a common culture based on their experience of living together in countries colonized by the French, Spanish, Dutch, and British.

The latter combinations were especially common in Guadeloupe. The foods and cultures are the result of a creolization of these influences.

People speak Antillean Creole on the following islands: [ citation needed ]. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Ethnic groups which originated from mixing between European and non-European peoples.

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