Our trip to New Orleans fell short, due to a round of wild weather! So we hunkered down in Lafayette, Louisiana for a few days before crawling back home. But the trip wasn't wasted....no sir'ee! We learned a lot about cajuns, creoles, and our own family history!Hungry upon arrival, we sought out a hole-in-the-wall restaurant (travel tip : always ask where the locals eat!) and enjoyed jambalaya and gumbo. Yum! There was even enough to take home for dinner. "Home" being the hotel, of course....once you've been on the road a bit, home is wherever you're crashing that night.
We stumbled upon the Acadian Cultural Center at Jean Lafitte National Park. Having an Acadian background, but not really knowing anything about it, we took this as a sign to learn more. The things we learned were fascinating!
The Acadian Cultural Center in Lafayette tells stories of the origins, migration, settlement, and contemporary culture of the Acadians (Cajuns). They also have genealogical records, which we were able to use to trace our family back nearly three hundred years...following their path from the Pyrenees of France to current day locations.
We love music!
(If you haven't figured that out by now..........go back through all of the posts on the right-hand column.)
Music is such a big part of Cajun history! Cajun music and zydeco are very similar forms...Cajun music is the music of the (white) Acadians, while Zydeco is the music of the (black) Creoles. Both share common origins and influences, but each culture proudly and carefully preserves the identity of its own musical expression. Scroll down to listen to an example of each...
According to Wikipedia, "Cajun music is relatively harsh with an infectious beat and a lot of forward drive, placing the accordion at the center. Besides the voices, only two melodic instruments are heard, the accordion and fiddle, but usually in the background can also be heard the high, clear tones of a metal triangle."