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Acadian culture and cajun music
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  • 1. ACADIAN CULTURE AND CAJUN MUSIC BY TRAVIS COOKE
  • 2. The Father of Acadians Samuel de Champlain was born in 1567 in Brouage, France. He is considered to be the “Father of Acadians” because he established what is known as the first Acadian settlement on the North American continent, under the French flag.
  • 3. La Cadie "La Cadie" or Acadia was one of the first European colonies established in North America. Acadia is the area, which is now known as Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and part of Maine.
  • 4. Location  The Acadians first settled on St. Croix Island.  The first city settlement was Port Royale.
  • 5. Acadians The early French settlers were indentured servants from coastal France who had endured famine, plague, and religious wars between Catholics and Protestants. They called themselves “Acadians” or “Cadiens”.
  • 6. The People The Acadians were highly skilled craftsmen, farmers, fishermen, and trappers who worked to build a strong community. They were proud, hard working people. Unlike the British they created alliances with Native Americans and did not invade Indian hunting grounds.
  • 7. Fighting Assimilation The Acadian people had to adapt to political changes repeatedly as their region changed hands between the French and British during the Hundred Year War. The British tried to impose its language and culture. Along with settling Scottish and other Protestant colonists in Acadia to change the French-Catholic culture to a British-Protestant one. However, the Acadians resisted assimilation by holding onto their own culture, through new settlers speaking French and increasing their numbers with their already large families.
  • 8. Le Grand Dèrangement The Expulsion of 1755, or what is known as Le Grand Dèrangement, came about because the British wanted to dominate the area culturally, militarily, and agriculturally without interference from the Acadians. And also because the Acadians refused to pledge allegiance to the King of England and join in the fight against the Native Americans who had grown to be their allies and relatives. The Expulsion killed about half the population of Acadians which was at about 15,000 prior to.
  • 9. Acadiana Of the survivors and those who escaped expulsion the majority made their way down the Mississippi river to Louisiana. This began the making of “Acadiana” in southern Louisiana.
  • 10. Cadien to Cajun Cajuns (the Anglicized word for Cadiens) in Louisiana were hardly required to assimilate. The Cajun society closely knits family members and neighbors who tend to depend on each other. Through this cooperation, economic self-sufficiency, language, and the development of many customs they have been able to maintain their sense of group identity. Flag of Acadiana
  • 11. Music Before Acadia Cajun music goes back to Acadia/ Nova Scotia, and to France. Most Acadians came from the region Poitou in France. The music from this area consisted of solo unaccompanied ballads, lyric songs with complex texts, unaccompanied air playing on fiddles and wind instruments, unison group performances of ceremonial songs, and dance orchestras with string and wind duos.
  • 12. Acadian Music Before Exile The earliest Acadian songs were long ballads that told of hard life and suffering. Their music often reflected influences from their neighbors, the Native Americans and Scots-Irish. For example the wailing singing style contributed by the Native Americans. As well as, the jigs and reels adapted from the Scots-Irish.
  • 13. Acadian Exile Music Acadian exiles had no instruments when they came to Louisiana. So they danced to reels á bouche, which is Acadian for mouth music. This is wordless dance music made by singing, humming, and rhythmic clapping and stamping. Reels á Bouche http://www.youtube.co m/watch?v=K9Fy_gVV 660
  • 14. Life in Louisiana Cajun music has always been very social music. It provided a relief from their hard days at work. Cajuns of all ages and abilities participated in music-making and dancing since almost everyone was a dancer or a player. The music was an essential part for get-togethers within families and the community. It was not uncommon for people to travel 50 miles, before cars were available, for a Bal de Maison or Fais Dodo. Joseph Falcon and his wife Cleoma were one of the first to record Acadian/ Cajun music in the 1920s. http://acadian.info/Cleoma_Falcon_Je _Suis_Parti_Sur_le_Grand_Chemin_T res_Disatisfe.mp3
  • 15. Bal de Maison Bal de Maison were small get-togethers creating a all night dance house. They would take place on the front porch of a Cajun‟s home. Or inside where furniture would be pushed aside to make way for a dance floor.
  • 16. Fais Dodo In the late 1920s public dances began appearing in dance halls known as Fais dodos. Fais dodo is Cajun baby talk for “go to sleep” as in put all the little kids in a back bedroom or crying room to sleep during the party. Soon the Fais dodo was the primary place for hearing Cajun music.
  • 17. Instruments Once in their new home, Louisiana, they continued to absorb more from their new neighbors the Spanish, Germans and Caribbeans. This influence has created an intercultural gumbo of musical instruments. Early instrumental music was primarily violins and French fiddles.
  • 18. Instruments The triangle or „tit fer (meaning little iron) is a simple rhythm instrument that was created out of bent metal bars from hay or rice rakes.
  • 19. Instruments Chemnitzer Concertina – Accordion German immigrants brought to America. Cajun Accordion which was refined from the German accordion.
  • 20. Instruments Around 1928, Cajun bands began using the guitar as an accompanim ent to French fiddlers, the triangle and accordions. Famous Cajun Guitarist D.L. Menard
  • 21. Instruments The Cajun rub board, also known as a Frottoir, is a musical instrument that came from a chance encounter between a Creole musician and a Cajun metal craftsman. It is a type of musical washboard.
  • 22. Instruments In the 1930s, Cajun musicians began introducing drums and electric amplification in their music. The first Cajun group to use electric amplification in their music was the Hackberry Ramblers. Hackberry Ramblers performing Jolie Blonde, also known as Jole Blon, which is often called the Cajun national anthem. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0Xyt1IStzo
  • 23. The Music Continues to Evolve The discovery of oil in Texas and Louisiana in the 1930s and World War II were pivotal in exposing Cajuns to the American culture at large. This introduced the musical movement known as Western swing which had an enormous influence on Cajun music. They began performing swing tunes and incorporating the harmonica and pedal steel guitar.
  • 24. Swamp Pop Swamp Pop came about in the 1950s when Louisiana teenagers had begun hearing rock-n-roll idols like Chuck Berry and Fats Domino on the radio. They traded in their fiddles and accordions for electric guitars and saxophones. Swamp pop is the blending of the rock-nroll sound by their idols with the Cajun music they heard growing up. http://www.youtube.com/wat ch?v=qVOgw9FtJ1Q
  • 25. Conclusion  The Acadian people endured much discrimination and hardship. The Acadian people tried to create their own community on what is now known as Nova Scotia. The Acadians eventually were exiled and forced to move. Many Acadians settled into Louisiana and didn‟t give up on their way of life. The Acadians continued with Their music and even evolved it. This music became known as Cajun. The Cajun music was important to the people. This music can be compared to Native American Music, African American music and many others. This just continues to show that music can be the heart and soul of people. In my opinion Arcadian people endured some of the toughest times any race had ever endured. As a whole the Acadian people learned to adapt and not give up hope. The Acadian people survived and even thrived through history.
  • 26. Works Cited         “Acadian Cajun Culture”. Acadian Genealogy. Web. November 2013. http://www.acadian.org/acadian-cajun_hist_culture.html “History of the Cajuns: Encyclopedia of Cajun Life; Music”. Acadian- Cajun Genealogy & History. Web. November 2013. http://www.acadian-cajun.com/cmusic.htm “Cajun Music Alive and Well in Louisiana”. Louisiana‟s Living Traditions. Web. November 2013. http://www.louisianafolklife.org/LT/Articles_Essays/creole_art_cajunmusic_aliv.html “Introduction to Cajun, Louisiana Creole, & Zydeco Music”. Cajun, Louisiana Creole, & Zydeco Music. Web. November 2013. http://www.loyno.edu/~hobbs/ccz/introduction.html “Cajun Music and Zydeco News”. Acadian.info. Web. November 2013. http://acadian.info/CajunMusic.htm “Frottoir History”. Zydeco Rubboards. Web. November 2013. http://www.zydecorubboards.com/Frottoir_Story.html “Swamp Pop History”. Swamp Pop Music Festival. Web. November 2013. http://www.swamppopmusicfest.com/SwampPopHistory.php “Cajun Song Structure and Arrangement”. Learning Cajun Guitar. Web. November 2013. http://cajunzydeco.net/CajunGuitar/