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The Preservation of a Heritage: Study of the Acadians

by
Harriet J. Bauman and John C. Warner


Contents of Curriculum Unit 83.06.02:

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DESCRIPTION :

We have developed a unit of a littleknown people, the Acadians. This unit is designed to supplement the existing French curriculum of the New Haven Public Schools. We feel that this unit will be beneficial to New Haven students as it is culturally enriching to learn about other peoples and their ways of life. It will also afford our students, who generally have a limited perspective of cultures other than their own, the opportunity to see similarities and differences in the lifestyles of various cultural groups.

The Acadians or “Cajuns” are a unique people. As a group, they are part of American heritage and history, yet are not often found in history books nor discussed in U. S. History classes. However, a literature class might study “Evangéline” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, a romanticized version of the Acadian’s flight from Nova Scotia to Louisiana. For this reason, our unit might lend itself to an interdisciplinary approach.

The unit will examine the French influence on the United States through an historical study of the Acadians, as well as their lives today. Culturally, today, the “Cajuns” of Louisiana stand out from other ethnic groups in the United States because of their traditions, customs, celebrations, and their pride, which help to keep their culture alive.

The project is designed to be used in both Junior and Senior High School. For the Junior High, we recommend an overview of the Acadian experience in North America, beginning with their departure from France and ending with their settlement in Louisiana. As we will discuss below, this overview might include studying geography, learning about important events in Acadian history, and introducing the daily life and customs of the “Cajuns.” The acquisition of information would take the form of activities designed to capture and utilize the exuberance of 1013 year olds. We have found, in the past, that students of junior high school age are more willing to participate in “handson” activities.

In the Senior High Schools, a more specific and concentrated study of the Acadians could take place. The lessons taught at this level would build on the knowledge acquired in Junior High. The focus would be on the “Cajuns and their lives today: the cultural and historical basis as well as how this ethnic group has influenced life in Louisiana. We will explore topics such as folklore, traditions, architecture, the arts, and festivals.

Activities designed for the Junior High student will be listed separately from activities recommended for high school students. We recognize the fact that some students in high school will not have been exposed to this material in junior high. For this reason, some of the materials included in the high school section will be of an introductory nature. It is up to each teacher to evaluate the use of included materials for his/her own classes.

Planned activities might include speakers, filmstrips, movies, oral and written reports, threedimensional projects like dioramas, visual projects like montages and collages, and a culminating event such as an Acadian festival. It might be worthwhile to have high school students present a program to junior high students or to have them participate in an activity together.

Some of the topics to be considered might include: daily life, customs, holidays, dress, architecture, folklore (songs, dances, games, toys, folktales), food and similarities and differences with English-speaking colonial life.

The length of the unit could be anywhere from one to two marking periods depending on the ability level of the classes and the interest engendered by the activities.

IMPORTANT EVENTS IN ACADIAN HISTORY

1534Jacques CARTIER discovers Canada and Newfoundland.
1543JeanFrancois de la Rocque de Roberval leads an expedition further into Canada.
1603Samuel D. Champlain reaches Tadoussac and continues explorations trying to find places about which the Indians tell stories.
1604Pierre Du Gua De Monts lands at La HEve, penetrates to La Baie Francaise (Bay of Fundy) and founds a colony in Acadia (Nova Scotia) with PontGravé and Champlain.
1605De Monts and Champlain explore the coasts more fully and find Cape Cod; they found a new colony, PortRoyal.
1606De Monts has been sent more men and provisions as well as Louis Hébert, an apothecary, and Marc Lescarbot, a lawyer.
1607The colony cannot exist without a monopoly on trade so they return to France.
One of the leaders of Jamestown colony, Samuel Argall, on a fishing trip, attacks the fort of San Sauveur recently founded by the Jesuits. It surrenders. He brings most of the inhabitants back with him as prisoners. Sir Thomas Gates orders Angall to return and destroy all of the French establishments. Saint Sauveur and Port-Royal are razed.
1614Poutrincourt returns and sees what has happened. He returns to France with some of the colonists. Some others decide to stay with Biencourt, son of Poutrincourt.
1618-1623The fur trade loses its importance.
1621James I of England gives all of the territory north of SainteCroix River to Sir William Alexander, a Scotsman. This territory includes the maritime provinces and the Gaspé Peninsula.
1624Sir William offers the title of Baron to whomever sends six men and enough food and supplies for two years.
Biencourt dies.
1625-1631Sir William creates 85 baronies. The territory now has a name, Nova Scotia (New Scotland).
1627RICHELIEU founds the Compagnie de la Nouvelle France (The Company of New France), which claims Acadia as well as Canada belongs to France.
1629Captain Charles DANIEL destroys an English settlement on Cape Breton Island.
1632Treaty of St. GermainenLaye gives Acadia and New France to France.
1635Issac de RAZILLY lieutenantgeneral of New France asks to be only in charge of Acadia. In the name of the CentAssociés, he distributes land. He brings 300 men and 3 Capucin monks. He designates Port-Royal as the capital. Has a fort built at Causeau. Establishes himself at Le HEve.
1935de RAZILLY dies.
1645Menon d’Adinay attacks the fort of St. Jean; uncontested head of Acadia. He alone has the privilege of the fur trade.
1652War breaks out between England and Holland.
1654Peace treaty between England and Holland. Robert SEDGWICK sets sail for Acadia to chase out the French who are rivals of New England in fishing and fur trade. [from Fort de St. Jean, de PortRoyal, de Pentagonet] SEDGWICK’s son-inlaw, John LEVERETT, is military governor of Acadia.
1656CROMWELL concedes the Acadian territory to Thomas TEMPLE, William CROWNE, and Le Tour.
1657France gives title of governor of Acadia to Emmanuel Le BORGNE, merchant and financier from La Rochelle. Nicolas DENYS is named governor of Cape Breton, St. Jean Island, and Madelaine Islands.
1667Louis XIV, by a treaty with England, has all the Acadian territory returned to France.
1670Le Chevalier de Grandfontaine finally gets control of Acadia.
1673Louis JOLLIET AND Jacques MARQUETTE discover the Mississippi River.
1678Robert CAVELIER de la SALLE continues exploration of the Mississippi River.
1682Robert CAVELIER de la SALLE takes over Louisiana Territory in the name of Louis XIV.
1684Le SALLE establishes a colony at the mouth of the Mississippi River.
1686d’IBERVILLE is part of the expeditionary force led by the Chevalier de Troyes
1694 d’IBERVILLE conquers the main fort on Hudson Bay Port Nelson.
1696d’IBERVILLE attacks and destroys Fort Pemaquid in Newfoundland to keep the friendship of Indians and to protect the Saint Lawrence Valley. The English capture Fort Nelson.
1697d’IBERVILLE and the French fleet retake Fort Nelson. The Treaty of Ryswick between France and England gives the Hudson Bay area to France.
1698d’IBERVILLE discovers the mouth of the Mississippi River.
1699d’IBERVILLE establishes the first fort on Biloxi Bay between the Mobile River and the Mississippi River.
1706d’IBERVILLE dies of yellow fever.
1712Antoine CROZAT has a commercial monopoly (valid for fifteen years) in the Louisiana Territory. Trade with the Spanish diminishes. Madrid forbids any trade between Mexico and Louisiana.
1713England and France do not agree on the limits of ceded Acadian territory.
1717CROZAT has to give up his trade rights. The Compagnie d’Occident (Company of the West) gets a monopoly on commerce for 25 years.
Illinois is attached to the Louisiana Territory.
1718BIENVILLE founds New Orleans.
1720Governor Richard PHILLIPS warns the Acadians that they have four months to swear allegiance to England. If not, they will be forced to leave Nova Scotia.
1722New Orleans becomes capital of Louisiana Territory.
1729Indians attack the inhabitants of Louisiana.
1730The governor (English) promises to respect Acadian neutrality.
1731JeanBaptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, governor, does what he can to fortify the colony and to bring in more settlers.
1744France declares war on England. Du Quesnel, commander of Louisbourg orders Joseph DUPONT and Sieur DUVIVER to destroy the principal English forts in Nova Scotia, IleRoyal, and Annapolis. The Acadian population stays neutral.
1745Another attack on Annapolis takes place. A 47 day siege of Louisbourg by the English, led by Admiral Peter WARREN and William PEPPERRELL.
1748Treaty of AixlaChapelle. Louisbourg is given back to the French, while they give Madras back to England. The English colonists and the Acadians are furious about the treaty.
1749Charles des HERBIERS takes possession of Louisbourg. Three thousand Acadians are sent from Nova Scotia to continental Acadia.
Major Charles LAWRENCE founds Halifax.
1754New England wants Acadia conquered, while Virginia wants Ohio conquered. A congress is held in Albany about this situation. (Including New England states, New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland).
1755Forts Beauséjour and Gaspareau surrender to the English. 67,000 Acadians deported from GrandPré.
1758England conquers IleRoyal and IleSaint-Jean.
1762The deportation ends.

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OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGIES:

Objective One:

The first and perhaps most elementary objective of the unit is to introduce a Frenchspeaking culture present in the United States to students of French on the Junior or Senior High School level. The Acadians are a Frenchspeaking people who have settled in Louisiana for the most part, although there are small groups of Acadians in Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

A.One way to introduce a culture to students who generally have little knowledge of geography is to locate the areas of interest on a map. This gives the students a chance to orient themselves and to recognize the wider world.
B.It is often helpful to show students pictures of different geographical locations which are important to the unit of study. For example, it is most helpful to make a collection of pictures of the Acadian migration from Nova Scotia through eastern Canada down through the United States to Louisiana. A unique way to tell the story of the Acadian migration is to act out a skit with students in which you and they are participants in the migration. Students will, in being active participants, understand more clearly some of the unique experiences of the Acadians as well as some of the problems which face a displaced people.

Objective Two:

The second objective of the unit is to examine the roots or history of the Acadians. We recommend that, although the history of a people is important and helps to understand the presentday culture, more time be spent on modernday customs of the Acadians. Only a short period of time—a couple of days—need be devoted to the study of Acadian history. The historical portion of the cultural exploration can best be handled by the students in the following manner:

A.The teacher can assign reports on different aspects of the target culture. This simply involves a couple of trips to either the school or public library for students to do some exploration through the reference materials.
B.Have students present their reports orally. Encourage dramatic preparation. You will find that even your more difficult students will enjoy being the focus of attention in the classroom. We have found, in the past, that the learning experiences of the students are enriched by activities which focus on active rather than passive learning.
C.After all the materials have been collected and presented, the students might organize a time line of important events which, after being decorated could be displayed in the classroom.

Objective Three:

The third objective of the unit is to learn specifically about the Acadian culture.

A.The best way to learn about a specific culture is to study the folk literature of the culture. For this reason, folk literature in English to be read with students will be included in the bibliography. In addition to the folk literature, we have discovered a cultural uniqueness in music, dance, games, and toys which we will explore in detail below.
B.To attain this objective, certain topics will be studied:
1.Traditions, customs, and festivals: These three topics can be approached in a similar fashion. Ideally, it is our intention to expose students to family life, the role of the family, occupations unique to the culture, pastimes and celebrations such as weddings, funerals, birthdates, saints’ days, Christmas and Easter. Exposure to these topics can take on several forms: filmstrips are available to explore different topics, speakers can be invited to talk to students. In addition, it may even be possible to interview family members of students who have Acadian ancestors.
2.Food: It is common classroom practice to teach about the customs surrounding the purchase and preparation of French food. A similar study of Creole food including customs and recipes will enhance such a unit.
3.Dress:
A.Everyday: Everyday dress is much the same as that of other Americans.
B.Festival: As in France, people wear regional or native costumes on special occasions and holidays. Examples of native costumes can be seen in movies, filmstrips, postcards, books and other pictures. Artistic students might want to draw pictures illustrating dress or to make costumes for dolls or for themselves.

Objectives Four and Five:

The fourth and fifth objectives of the unit are to examine the Acadian influence in the United States and the influence that the American culture has had on the Acadian. As one culture is integrated into another, each culture gives of itself to create a new and diverse cultural mix.

A.Architecture: A study of the buildings of New Orleans including French, Spanish and American influences can lead to studentconstructed models. A comparison of “Cajun” plantations and other southern plantations might show how one culture has influenced the other.
B. Food: In this area of the South, the regional cooking is a mixture of Spanish, French, and Créole cuisine. Students can study and prepare Créole recipes as a part of their Acadian festival.
C. Festivals and Holidays: As a class project, students could write to the Louisiana Bureau of Tourism or the Bureau of Acadian Affairs to explore which Acadian festivals or holidays are widely celebrated, and how their celebration has influenced different state holidays.
D.Music and Dance: Students may be able to listen to regional French music on shortwave radio. This regional music is not American by virtue of language nor is it French by virtue of style. It is a unique mixture of both cultures. There are many ethnic dance companies which tour the United States. Perhaps students could participate in a schoolorganized field trip to see performances of ethnic works by dancers in costume.
E.Art and Architecture: The tourist bureau of New Orleans may furnish a list of local artists who are involved in the creation of native crafts. Books on regional art illustrate the influence of the Acadian culture in the local arts.
F.Language: Cassette recordings of “Cajun” dialect will show students that although the dialects stem from French, they sound quite different from the Parisian French taught in schools. A “Cajun” dialect dictionary may illustrate the American influence on the language. Likewise, many American patterns of speech of the region are widely influenced by the French language.
The following is a list of Cajun terms with their French and English equivalents.

CAJUN          FRENCH          ENGLISH
jongler          penser          to think
asteur          maintenant          now
ouiai          oui          yes
haler          tirer          to pull
boFte          bo”te          box
naiyer          noyer          to drown
quofaire          pourquoi          why
j’eus          je suis          I am
froumi          fourmi          ant
fremer          fermer          to close
parousesse          paroisse          parish
poésson          poisson          fish
visotes          vous autres          you guys
none          oncle          uncle
zozo          oisseau          bird
Several Cajun French words whose meanings are unknown in French dictionaries:

babiche—a cable or cord

marron—wild

brHlot—a little black fly that attacks eyes, nose and mouth and burns them

cayak—a male buffalo

cotonier—cottonwood tree

créole—native white person of French parents born in the Mississippi Valley

metiz—mixture of white and indian

mul‰tre—mixture of black and white

poisson armé—fresh water fish with a pointed head

piroque—a dugout canoe

bride abattue—with all haste

quatre cents coups—escapades

bagueller—to speak without rhyme or reason

brouhaha—a tactful argument, an exciting conversation

un bardibaba—a noise, a disorganized train

un gali macha—full of scrambled words

jaserie—conversation, mixture of words

un ratatouille—(in French known as a vegetable stew)—a quarrel between husband and wife

un trembalisement—a big surprise

un chombonhourrah—a celebration

un chainfourah—a bad situation

un ouaouaron—a frog

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CULTURAL TOPICS AND SAMPLE LESSONS

Topic: HISTORY

Areas of interest in Louisiana

Students are to locate on a map those areas of Louisiana having an important Cajun population.
Students will then plot the industry (de: products manufactured) and the agricultural areas of the region.
Students can also write a diary of historical events which took place during a particular period of Acadian history. They can write their diaries as if they were people living at the particular time in question.
Have students imagine that they are reporters of either a newspaper, television station or radio station and have them report on an important event of the period.
Design a poster with your class for a specific city in Louisiana which might be used as publicity for a tourist information bureau.
A time line of important events and dates reproduced from the included “fact sheet” can be used to decorate your classroom, and as a study guide for students.
Produce a filmstrip of studentdrawn illustrations or from color negatives.

French/Acadian Relations

Have students transform the French flag into the Acadian flag by placing a gold star on the blue background of the French flag.
Have students write a letter as Acadians to friends or family in France talking about their new lifestyle.
Students can play the part of French Acadians migrating to Canada. Have them make a list of the things that they feel they would need for the journey.

Topic: FAMOUS PEOPLE

Take a list of famous Acadians such as the one found below and assign student research reports on any given person. Students can also either draw a picture to represent the person, or an event in which he or she participated. Write a short blurb about what each picture represents and compile them into a booklet to be displayed in the classroom. (See the included time line for additional historical figures who may be used as report subjects. A brief biographical note on some of the historical figures is included.)

Pierre Gustave Toutant de Beauregard—(18181893) Confederate General who directed the bombardment of Fort Sumter S.C. that started the Civil war
Evangéline—illfated lover of Longfellow’s epic poem of the same name
Jean Baptiste le Moyne, Sieur de Bunireer
Pierre Le Moyne, Sieur d’Iberville—founded a colony at the mouth of the Mississippi River
Le Marquis de LaFayette—(17571834) A French soldier and statesman who fought for American independence, and for the French Revolution
La Salle
Jean Fréderik Oberlin
Louis, Comte de Pontchartrain
Saint Landry
Jacques Marquette—(16371675) An explorer of the Mississippi River, he was also one of the first white men to enter Illinois
Edith Butler—singer
Angel Arsenault—singer
Antoine Maillet—writer
Nathan Abshire—accordionist
Ambroise Thibodeaux—accordionist
Alphonse “Boissec” Ardouin—Black Cajun musician
FrancoisXavier Martin—(17621846) Served as Chief Justice on Louisiana’s State Supreme Court. Simplified French, Spanish, and English element of Louisiana law. Born in Marseille, France
Desh™tels twins (Edward and Elby) Old French music
Ron Guidry—baseball personality

Topic: HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS

The uniqueness of Cajun holidays and festivals set this cultural group apart from any other in the United States. Holidays and festivals are central to the social lives of the Acadians, and are yet another distinct way of preserving their cultural heritage.

Make up a large class calendar filling in important historical dates, birthdays of people being studied, holidays and festivals. (Much of this information can be obtained from our included list of important dates.)

MARDI GRAS

Plan a festival with your students to simulate the Acadian festival “Le Courir” a race on horseback around the countryside looking for ingredients to make a GUMBO. They are followed by musicians and singers and dancers.

LE FESTIVAL DES CRIVICES (LE FESTIVAL DES CREVETTESin French)

This is a festival to celebrate shrimp. Since a large number of the Louisiana Cajuns are fishermen, this festival honors one of the staples of the Cajun diet.
Discussion about specific festivals such as the two noted above might be followed by a class discussion of similar religious or secular festivals which members of the class either celebrate or have heard of in other ways.

Topic: FOLK LITERATURE

The following is an example of an Acadian folktale taken from “L‰che pas la patateportrait des Acadians de la Louisianne” by Revon Reed. We have included the folktale in French, Cajun and English.

LE GENS PERDU

En francais:
Un homme de ville rencontre une vieille paysanne sur

une route. “Ditesmoi, suisje bien sur le chemin de

Mamou?”

“Je ne sais pas, Monsieur.”

“Mais ˆ combien de kilomEtres suis—je de Mamou?”

“Je ne sais pas, Monsieur.”

“Alores, en quelle direction est Mamou?”

“Je ne sais pas, Monsieur.”

Le voyageur est un peu f‰che. I1 dit ˆ la paysanne

“Vous Ftes un peu stupide, ma bonne femme!”

“Oui, sans doute, mais je ne suis pas perdu.” [sic]

En Cajun:
Un gros chien de village arrFte un petit bonaré [bon ˆ rien, vaurien] ˆ une croisson de chemin dans le milieu de la campagne d’Anse Meg:

“Hey lˆbas, toi rabette, viens voir ici, dit mon quel de ces quatres cheminslˆ m’amEnerait a Mamou?”

“Mais mon je ne connais pas, Monsieur.”

“Hey garson, allons dire je prends le chemin ˆ la gauche oG lui, il va m’améner, hien?

“Ca m’en fait beaucoup, Monsieur mais je ne connais pas ca non plus.”

“Hey ‘tit bougre, allons dire que je prendrais le chemin qui va ˆ la droite, oG lui l’irai, tu crois?”

“Monsieur, ca me casse le coeur mais je ne connais pas ce encore.”

“Et si j’irai droite oG tu crois ce cheminlˆ m’amEnerait, imbécile?”

“Monsieur, quadmFme ma vie dépendrait sur la réponse correcte, je connaisserai encore pas, mon.”

“Tu connais quelque chose, non garcon je crois que t’es bien bFte.”

“PeutFtre ca c’est bien, Monsieur, mais mon j’eus pas perdu, non!”

In English: The following is a summary of the tale.
A man from the city is walking along a country road one day when he happens upon an intersection. At the intersection, he sees an old woman from the region and asks her for directions to Mamou. She tells him that she does not know the way. After several attempts at finding out the directions or the distance to Mamou with no results the frustrated man says to the old woman: “You know, you are quite stupid.” She replies: “That may very well be, but at least I am not lost.”

Read a folktale with the students either in French or in English, such as the one included above, and have them come up with a moral or purpose for the tale. After reading some traditional Cajun folk literature, have students compare what they have read to stories they might have heard in their own experience.
As a class project, you might try having the students compose an original folktale.
Put on a puppet show depicting events or scenes from the poem EVANGELINE by Longfellow.
Draw a mural with students to illustrate scenes from the poem.

Topic: CUSTOMS AND LIFESTYLES

DEATH AND FUNERAL CUSTOMS

Cajuns are buried above ground; graves are made of cement covered with marble. Often a picture of the deceased is found on the tomb. After the very somber funeral, which usually takes place one or two days after death, there is a large celebration with music and dancing to celebrate the deceased’s ascent into heaven and therefore to a better life. November 2, Le Jour des Morts (The day of the dead) is when all the Cajun cemeteries are decorated with brightly colored flowers to ward off any evil spirits.

Discuss the difference between those Acadian funeral traditions and the funeral traditions of the students in your classes.

MUSIC

As a class project, you might want to study some of the traditional or typical funeral marches (ie: When The Saints Go Marchin’ In) and perhaps have students compare this music to some of the old “negro spirituals” with which they might be familiar.

BIRTH

There is a very solid connection between birth and death in the Cajun culture. The Cajuns believe that a child born in a family is a way to compensate for a death in the family. Conversely, any time that a child dies, the event is a blessing on the family because the child has been called to be an angel of God and as such will protect the family.

Topic: FAMILY LIFE

The preservation of cultural uniqueness—areas of interest

1.language
2.religion
3.music
4.folkways
Home and family life is central to the Acadians. Father usually works outside the home in agriculture or fishing while mother works in the home as the center of the family. She is the person who instills values and traditions in her children. Families participate in religious as well as secular festivals surrounding some of the folk traditions of the culture.

Study family life in conjunction with folk literature because the best way to preserve a culture is to preserve its language and its folk traditions. The Cajuns of Louisiana have a unique language whose roots are in old French. It is strictly an oral tradition within the family or within a relatively small social group since the use of the Cajun dialect was forbidden in public places and outlawed in schools because it is not English. Recently, a great deal of English has crept into the language thus showing the influence of outside American culture on the preserved Cajun culture.

It would be worthwhile as a class activity centered around the uniqueness of Cajun family life to have a discussion with students comparing some of these Acadian family traditions to some of their personal family traditions.

Begin by taking a survey of the class to see how many students can come up with French words that are now a part of the English language.
Students could make a Cajun dictionary similar to the list of Cajun terms included in the unit showing French or English roots of many of the Cajun words they have learned.
They could discuss and give examples of typically Cajun recipes which have become very popular in the black community, such as dishes with shrimp and rice. (See the bibliography for the name of a widely available Cajun cookbook.)

Topic: CAREERS

The typical careers of the Cajun male are divided into three categories:

1.Oil and gas roughnecks, roustabouts, pushers, and drillers on rigs in the Gulf of Mexico wearing coveralls, boots and hardhats
2.Fishing: shrimp, fish, and oysters
3.Agriculture/farmers: rice, Chinese peas, sweet potatoes, cotton, corn and other vegetables; others raise cattle, pigs, and sheep
Workers in oil and fishing work out a time schedule by which they are away from the home for a period of time, but then at or near the home for the rest of the time during the year.

Students find out information on types of jobs which are available to people living in Louisiana. They could then present an oral report to the class about these jobs explaining why some of them are particular to the region.

Topic: MUSIC

Music is considered to be part of the Cajun soul. Different sounds come from France (Bretagne, Normandie, Poitou, Picardie) others come from Québec and New Brunswick. The Créoles influenced Cajun music through jazz. The Cajuns were not allowed to bring any musical instruments with them from Acadia except the harmonica. The British destroyed many of their instruments also. So the Cajuns used their voices and mouths for making music. Other instruments the Cajuns use today are: the triangle, steer’s horn, washboard, guitar, violin, and accordion.

“Faisdodo” (probably from dosˆdos, which also became the American square dance call “dozedoh”) is a public dance arranged by the owners of public dance halls where beer and strong drinks are served. Everyone is invited to these dances.

Bal de maisonprivate dance in a home to which only members of the family or neighbors are invited.

Teach students a Cajun folk song and have them sing it as part of their festival.
Give a lecture about Cajun music using samples for the class to hear. (A student can also do this.) The class could then comment on what they have heard.
Have students research a folk song to find its ancestry: (France, Africa, etc.) Present this to the class.

Topic: COSTUMES

Feminine traditional:
White bonnet, white apron, blue skirt, red or white blouse with a 3/4 length sleeve, a small pointed black vest laced and without sleeves, and a small gold cross (the poor wear medals).

Masculine traditional:
Blue pants, white shirt with houffant sleeves, a red scarf tied around the neck, boots.

Students can draw pictures of Acadian costumes and design models of them for dolls.
Students can dress in typical costumes and put on an Acadian fashion show with French commentary for the school.

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READING LIST FOR TEACHERS

Baubear, Marius. Jongleur Songs of Old Quebec. (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press), 1962.

An excellent source of FrenchCanadian folk songs. It explains the folksongs of New France: Canada, Acadia, and the Mississippi and Missouri River Valleys, and Louisiana.

Beaudre, Henri. La Déportation des Acadiens. (Quebec, Imprimerie de l’Action Sociale), 1918 limitée.

One of the many pamphlets in a series related to the history of Nova Scotia. This is a thirtyone page essay dealing with the tragic expulsion of the Acadians from Nova Scotia.

Brebner, John Bartlet. New England’s Outpost: Acadia Before The Conquest of Canada. (Hamden, CT: Archon Books), 1965.

A history of AcadiaNova Scotia from 16401774. This book shows how the British failed to administer the colony with any degree of success. This illustrates a model upon which Canada’s government is based.

Dupont, JeanClaude. Héritage d’Acadie. (Ottawa, Canada: Editions Leméac, Inc.), 1977.

Gives good information about folklore and some holidays.

———. Histoire Populaire de l’Acadie. (Ottawa, Canada: Editions Leméac, Inc.), 1978.

A good source for information about Acadian folk art, dress and food.

Johnston, (Mrs.) Margaret H. In Acadia: The Acadians in Story and Song. (New Orleans: F.F. Hansel and Brothers.), 1893.

A short novel containing five parts including concise information about Acadia and Louisiana.

Lauvriˆre, Emile. La Tragédie d’un peuple, histoire du peuple acadien de ses origines ˆ nos jours. Vol. I & II (Paris: Librarie Plan), 1924.

A very detailed history in two volumes of the Acadians in Quebec and in the United States.

Reed, Revon. L‰che pas la palate: portrait des Acadiens de la Louisianne. (Montréal, Québec: Editions Parti Pris), 1976.

Excellent! Very interesting. Easy to read. Good source of information. Note particularly the following chapters: “La vie de famille”, “Les metiers du Cajun”, “Les languages du Cajun”, “Personnages cajuns légendaires”, “Mamou, ville typique du Cajun”, “Comes folkloriques”, “Les amusements du Cajun”, “L’‰me du Cajun: sa musique”.

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READING LIST FOR STUDENTS

Arcenaux, George. Youth in Acadie: Reflections on Acadian Life and Culture in Southwest Louisiana. (Baton Rouge: Claitor’s Publishing Division), 1974.

An interesting account of the author’s experiences growing up in Acadian Louisiana. It is more autobiographical than cultural, however.

Bible, George P. The Acadians: Their Deportation and Wanderings. (Philadelphia: Ferris and Leach), 1905.

A detailed history of the Acadians, their flight and return, and their second flight. The author shows how Longfellow based his poem “Evangeline” on a real person and real events.

Bird, Will R. Done At Grand Pré. (Toronto: The Ryerson Press), 1955.

Tells the story of the desperation of the Acadians in narrative form.

Dominion Atlantic Railway. The Land of Evangéline Nova Scotia An Annotated Guide. (Kentville, Nova Scotia: Kentville Publishing Co., Ltd.), 1935.

Illustrations are included. It tells the necessary information about historical places in Nova Scotia.

Hallowell, Christopher. People of the Bayou: Cajun Life in Lost America. (New York: E.P. Dutton), 1979.

This book tells about Cajun life today in South Louisiana. The people are shy, solitary, and hardworking. It is written in narrative form, but is not a story.

Hannay, James D.C.L. F.R.S.C. The Heroine of Acadia. (No other information given.)

A charming tale of the life of Frances Marie Jacqueline, wife of Sieur de la Tour. This story parallels a folktale as it tells of Mme. la Tour’s historic defense of fort la Tour. An historical legend wellsuited for Junior High.

Parkman, Francis. Pioneers of France in the New World. (Boston: Little Brown and Co.), 1880. A very detailed history of the explorations and early settlements by the Spanish and French.

Post, Lauren C. Cajun Sketches from the Prairies of Southwest Louisiana. (Louisiana: Louisiana State University Press), 1962.

A very easy to read narrative. The story is told from the point of view of natural resources and geography. The author defines and translates terms from Cajun to English. Note the following chapters in particular: “Early Approaches to the Acadian Prairies”, “Cajun Houses”, “Cajun ‘Pieu’ Fences”, “Old Aladdin and his Créole Chairs”, “Spinning and Weaving” “Courtship and Marriage”, “Faisdodo”, “Music and Dancing”, “Cajun MardiGras”, “Birth, Death and the Social Life”, “Cajuns Today”.

Rushton, William Faulkner. The Cajuns from Acadia to Louisiana (New York: Farrar Straus Giroux), 1979.

There is some history and background of the Acadians in this book. It focuses mainly on life today. Notice the following chapters: “Reconstructing the Cajun House”, “Weaving Together”, “How to Cook Cajun”, “French Accordion Folk Music”, “Laisser les bons temps rouler.” The appendices also deserve to be studied: “Tu parles Cajun?” and Neptune’s Theatre, which is a play thought to have been the first written in America.

Bowlus, Martha and Robinson, Emily. River Road Recipes, River Road Recipes II: A Second Helping. (No publisher currently available), 1959, 1976.

A collection of Louisiana Créole recipes compiled by the Baton Rouge Junior League, this cookbook is available at B. Dalton and Waldenbooks. In the book, the women decided to reveal culinary secrets which combine the French influence of their forebearers with local “Cajun” ingredients from the bayous of Southwest Louisiana.

Supplementary materials for our unit including maps showing the route of the Acadian migration, areas of interest in Nova Scotia, large Cajun populations in Louisiana, along with manufacturing of the state, along with a map guide and other realia such as a Cajun cookbook are available on loan from the Institute office.

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Contents of 1983 Volume VI | Directory of Volumes | Index | Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute

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