Down on the Bayou

All Around This World US and Canada "Everywhere Map"
This week, a tasty treat – we go down on the bayou to enjoy a truly international, truly North American form of music.

Cajun Music is a genre that developed in Louisiana but that has its firm roots in the Maritime provinces of Canada. In the 17th century a group of French settlers, hailing from all over France but primarily from urban areas, colonized the eastern part of the country we now call Canada–specifically today’s provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. At the time the land was called Acadia, which was part of “New France.”

In 1710 the British conquered Acadia. The British feared the Acadians in New France would rebel, and, in fact some did. From 1755-1764 the British used this threat as justification for “The Great Expulsion,” during which they brutally deported about 11,500 Acadians, sending most to France. An estimated third of deported Acadians died en route. Acadians who the British had deported to France yearned to return “the New World,” and many thousands did, taking advantage of an opportunity to settle in southwestern Louisiana. The Acadians became known in Louisiana as the “Cajuns.” Say “Acadian” like this — ah-cA-djun — and you’ll get it.

Over the course of this week we’ll enjoy Cajun songs, learn a cajun dance and place fantastic Cajun fiddlestick.