3 posts tagged creole
3 posts tagged creole
Les Blank, trailer for “Yum Yum Yum” (1990)
MoMA recently hosted a retrospective of Les Blank’s films, which have documented everything from localized American music genres to things as specific as gap-toothed women. Elements of Cajun and Creole cultures were featured in a number of his films, including the above pean to Cajun cooking, as well as: “Hot Pepper,” a portrait of Zydeco musician Clifton Chenier; “Dry Wood,” which explores black French creole life; “J’ai Été Au Bal / I Went to the Dance,” a history of southwestern Louisiana music; “Marc & Ann,” a look at the Cajun musician couple the Savoys; and “Spend it All,” which features various French Cajun Lousiania musicians. Blank’s career is a testament to the histories and legacies of American folk music and cultures.
plshantrelle’s photo of Jacques Rony’s “Ra Ra”
Rony’s metalwork was featured in the Caribbean Culture Center African Diaspora Institute’s Standing with Papa Legba event and exhibition. Text from Forgotten Language describes his practice: “Rony works in the tradition of metal découpe, which transforms oil drums into stunning, hand-hammered works of art. Utilizing imagery from daily and spiritual life in Haiti, Rony evokes the love, beauty and hope of the island.”
The multi-artist exhibition Standing with Papa Legba, which explored notions of spirituality in Haiti, was a part of the larger Re-Imagining Haiti, a collaboration with MoCADA’s Le Projet Nouveau. Le Project Nouveau showcased artworks that demonstrate a nuanced, resilient vision of Haiti post-earthquake, countering the many images of destitution in the disaster’s aftermath.
Before we start off this week’s theme, let’s get something straight … namely, what’s the difference between Creole and Cajun?
Here’s a helpful definition:
Dictionaries generally define Cajuns as “a Louisianian who descends from French-speaking Acadians”. However, that is not totally accurate. Because of circumstances, an Acadian is not a Cajun; however, cajuns are in-part descendants of Acadians! The word “cajun” is itself a dialectal derivation of Acadia. But Louisiana Cajuns are more homogenous than that due to the early mixture of several ethnic groups such as Spanish, German, French Creole, Anglo-American as well as the native Indians.
Creoles were originally descendants of early French and Spanish settlers in the New World. The term “creole” became very popular in the colony. It was used to apply to people and things native to the colony. The word comes from the Spanish “criollo…a child born in the colony”. The term first applied to natives of the West Indies, Central and South America, and the Gulf States region, but eventually became synonymous with the race of people found in Louisiana.
Definitions via LandryStuff, where you can find more info about the distinctions.