Cajun History

Cajun-Creole History

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 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, their identity is less clear. 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. Cajuns in Louisiana today are a distinct cultural group, separate from the Acadians of Nova Scotia. 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. The name “Cajuns” is evidently an English mispronunciation of “Acadians.” Cajun and Black Creole Culture share a number of common elements, some of which are discussed in the entry on Black Creoles of Louisiana.