|Regions with significant populations|
|Louisiana, East Texas, Los Angeles County, California, coastal Mississippi, Chicago, Illinois, coastal Alabama, small numbers in Veracruz (Mexico), Haiti, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and France|
|Louisiana Creole French, English|
|Predominantly Roman Catholic|
|Related ethnic groups|
Various Native American groups
Louisiana Creole (also called French Créole) refers to native born people of various racial descent who are descended from the Colonial French and/or Spanish settlers of Colonial French Louisiana, before it became part of the United States in 1803 with the Louisiana Purchase with claim to the Creole culture and Creole cuisine. For the film see Louisiana Purchase (film. The Louisiana Purchase (French Vente de la Louisiane "Louisiana Sale" The common accepted definition is a mixture of (mainly) French, Spanish, African, and Native-American heritage however some may not be all of these, and many may have other ethnicities in addition. Legal residents and citizens To be French according to the first article of the Constitution is to be a citizen of France regardless of one's origin race or religion ( For indigenous peoples in the United States other than Hawaii and Alaska see also Native Americans in the United States. It should be noted however that there are also white French Creoles. Legal residents and citizens To be French according to the first article of the Constitution is to be a citizen of France regardless of one's origin race or religion ( For the languages see Creole language. For other meanings see Creole (disambiguation. Before the Civil war the term Creole was applied to most 18th century families in southern Louisiana who had French, Spanish, or African ancestry. Cajuns were always excluded from this distinction, due to their lack of social status in old Louisiana and mostly white Acadian background. This article is about the Acadian people and culture The Acadians (Acadiens are the descendants of the seventeenth-century French
During Louisiana's first French government, the French borrowed a term the Spanish and Portuguese used in their colonies to refer to native-born products and people of the colony. The Spanish referred to this term as criollo and the Portuguese, crioulo. Ultimately, the colonial term derived from the Latin 'creare', meaning to rear or create (Brasseaux).
Originally, inhabitants of New World Spanish colonies were distinguished by whether or not they had migrated to the colony (either voluntarily or involuntarily), or if they had been brought up or reared in the colony. The Spanish term used to describe the latter group was criado, which later evolved into criollo. Most modern Creoles, both White and Black, have familial ties to Louisiana. Many other ethnicities have contributed to this culture including, but not limited to the Irish, Italian, or German.
Creole largely remained an expression of parochial and colonial government use through both the French and Spanish régimes, a period in which Europeans of French and Spanish biological backgrounds, born in the New World, as opposed to Europe, were referred to as Créole (Logsdon). Simultaneously, the people of the colony forged a new local identity, however it is clear that everyone referred to themselves as French Creole. Parisian French was the language of early New Orleans and later it evolved to contain local phrases and slangs. The White French Creoles spoke Creole French that was a colonial French and the Black Creoles formed a French,Spanish, and West African hybrid language, which is still spoken in central Louisiana today. Creole French is still spoken in New Orleans. Whites of French/Spanish mixture were referred to as French Creoles, and the mixed mulatto population was referred to as African Creole, Black Creole, Mixed Creole, or even Creoles of Color.
The transfer of the French colony to the United States in 1803 (officially admitted into statehood in 1812) and the arrival of Anglo-Saxons from New England ignited an outright cultural war. Anglo-Saxons, reportedly disgusted by the cultural and linguistic climate of the newly acquired territory, the United States' first Louisiana governor, W.C.C. Claiborne swiftly moved to thoroughly Americanize the Louisiana people in making English the official language. William Charles Cole Claiborne ( 1775 - 23 November, 1817) was a United States politician best known as the first U Outraged, Louisiana Creoles in New Orleans allegedly paraded the streets of New Orleans renouncing the Americans' effort to transform them into Americans overnight. Realizing that he needed the local support to make any progress in Louisiana, Claiborne restored French as an official language of the newly acquired state, and in all forms of government, public forums and in the Catholic Church, French continued to be used. Most importantly, Colonial French and Creole French remained the language of the majority of the population of the state. New Orleans remained a city divided between Latin (French, French Creole, and African Creole) and Anglo-Saxon populations until well into the late 19th century (Hirsch & Logsdon). Among the eighteen governors of Louisiana between 1803-1865, six were Creole and were monolingual speakers of French: Jacques-Philippe Villeré, Pierre Augustin Charles Bourguignon Derbigny, Armand Julien Beauvais, Jacques Dupré de Terrebonne, André Bienvenue Roman, and Alexandre Mouton.
When Americans began to arrive in Louisiana, locals began identifying themselves overtly as Creoles to distinguish themselves from the "nouveaux-arrivés" from New England and the American South.
If the American Civil War promised rights and opportunities for the enslaved, it caused anxiety for the Free Person of Color. Louisiana under the French and Spanish housed a three-tiered society, similar to that of Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, Mexico, and other French and Spanish colonies. This three tiered-society allowed for the emergence of a wealthy and educated group of mixed and black Creoles. Their identity as a Free Person of Color, or Gens de couleur libres or 'personne de couleur libre' was one they had worked diligently towards and guarded with an iron-fist. Gens de couleur is a French term meaning "people of color They enjoyed most rights and privileges, by law, as whites, and could and often did challenge the law in court of law winning their case against whites (Hirsch; Brasseaux; Mills; Kein etc. ). Knowing that the United States did not legally recognize a three-tiered society, the American Civil War posed a considerable threat to the identity and position of the Free People of Color. Following the Union victory in the Civil War, the Louisiana three-tiered society was dismantled.
In efforts to maintain their social and political identity, the former Gens de couleur libres began using the term 'Creole' much in the same way that the white elite did beginning in 1803. The Gens de couleur libres were native speakers of both Colonial French and Louisiana Creole. Louisiana Creole is a French Creole language spoken by the mixed Louisiana Creole people of the state of Louisiana.
Black slaves in Louisiana, particularly in the southern realm of the state, were also Creoles. The success of the Union in the Civil War ultimately released slaves from servitude, at least on paper. Through sharecropping and Jim Crow laws, they found themselves in bondage again. However this servitude allowed for the preservation of the Creole language of the Black Creole working class of South Louisiana. They too were largely of Roman Catholic faith and saw themselves different from their Protestant English-speaking counterparts.
Louisiana Creoles historically have spoken Louisiana Creole, Colonial Louisiana French and Metropolitan French. Louisiana Creole is a French Creole language spoken by the mixed Louisiana Creole people of the state of Louisiana. Colonial Louisiana French (more commonly Colonial French) also known as Plantation Society French, is one of three French dialects traditionally recognized
The Cane River Creole community is made up of descendants of French, Spanish, Africans, Native Americans, other Creole migrants from New Orleans, and various other ethnic groups who inhabited this region. Legal residents and citizens To be French according to the first article of the Constitution is to be a citizen of France regardless of one's origin race or religion ( The term African people can refer to people who live in Africa, or people who trace their ancestry to Indigenous inhabitants of Africa. Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples from the regions of North America now encompassed by the continental United States New Orleans (nʲuːˈɔrliənz nʲuːˈɔrlənz French: La Nouvelle-Orléans) is a major United States port city and the largest city in Louisiana It is centered around Isle Brevelle in lower Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. There are many Creole Communities within Natchitoches Parish including Natchitoches, Cloutierville, Derry, and Natchez. Many plantations also still exist. Isle Brevelle, the area of land between Cane River and Bayou Brevelle, encompasses approximately 18,000 acres (73 km²) of land, 16,000 of which are still owned by descendants of these original Creole families. The Cane River Creole familiy last names are but are not limited to: the Metoyer, LaCour, Coutee, Monette, Balthazar, Sylvie, Moran, Rachal, Conant, Beaudion, Darville, Lacaze, Pantallion, Mullone, Severin, St. Ville, Llorens, Delphin, Sarpy, Laurent, DeSoto, Christophe, Honore, Chevalier, Anty, Dubreil, Roque, Cloutier, LeVasseur, Meziere, Bellow, Gallien, Conde, and the Dupre. (Most of the surnames are of French or Spanish origin)
In the early 20th century, Creoles were forced to speak English in school. French ( français,) is a Romance language spoken around the world by 118 million people as a native language and by about 180 to 260 million people The effort to remove Creole French from the population led to a drop in native speakers. In 1980, a movement to restore Cajun or Creole French to the area began and what has been termed French Immersion has been incorporated into many schools.
Many locals, especially those of relatively pure French and Spanish Creole descent, have often argued that the traditional usage excluded African lineage. Legal residents and citizens To be French according to the first article of the Constitution is to be a citizen of France regardless of one's origin race or religion (
In 1890 the Louisiana Legislative Code 111 was enforced. A group of affluent Creoles formed the Comite des Citoyens. Code 111 stated that "all persons of African ancestry were legally and in fact Negro - and it ended once and for all any pretensions on the part of the former free Blacks [mulattos, octoroons, et al. ] to priveledged treatment under law. "
The Louisiana Creole definition, defines Creole people as those who are "generally known as a people of any of the following mixes: French, Spanish, African, and Native American ancestry, most of whom reside in or have familial ties to Louisiana.
Because of Claims to the name by Louisiana Whites and Blacks, Creole is now accepted as a broad cultural group of people who share French and/or Spanish ancestry. Contrary to popular belief, a Creole does not exclusively pertain to a person of African and French descent. Creole is more properly described as a culture, not a race.
A definition from the earliest history in New Orleans (circa 1718) is "a child born in the colony as opposed to France or Spain. New Orleans (nʲuːˈɔrliənz nʲuːˈɔrlənz French: La Nouvelle-Orléans) is a major United States port city and the largest city in Louisiana (see Criollo)" The definition became more codified after the United States took control of the city and Louisiana in 1803. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the The State of Louisiana ( or, État de Louisiane, pronounced) is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America The Creoles at that time included the Spanish ruling class, who ruled from the mid-1700s until the early 1800s.
In the United States, culture has come to serve as the dividing factor between "races" and skin color (Domínguez). That is to say that, in most countries and regions of the Caribbean realm, culture is shared by everyone, regardless of skin color or ancestral origins. In the Dominican Republic, rice and beans, traditionally considered an "ethnic dish" in the United States, is eaten and prepared in the homes of white, mixed, black, and Arabs of both nationalities. In Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire, Papiamentu, a Portuguese-based Creole language, is spoken by the entire island, regardless of skin color or ancestral origins.
Louisiana is no exception to this rule. Rice and gravy, red beans and rice, boudin, gumbo, étouffée, jambalaya, all "ethnic" dishes are eaten and savored by all Louisianans, whether Black or White.
In addition, the colonial (Creole) architecture of Louisiana bears striking resemblances with architecture in France, Spain, and the Caribbean. The distinct raised roof, gallery-wrapped Creole plantation homes of Louisiana are heavily modeled after traditional central/south western European architecture. But also, has many things in common with Guadeloupe, Martinique, Cuba, Haiti and those painting the landscape of many Caribbean islands left by Europeans.
It is therefore not odd, either, to find Louisianans with Spanish or French features, even some with African features, carrying family names such as Dupre, Villere, Romero, Hernández or Rodríguez who can find their roots in France, Spain, Vera Cruz Mexico, Central America, or the Caribbean.
Louisiana Creole cuisine is recognized as a unique a style of cooking originating in New Orleans, which makes use of the same Holy trinity (in this case chopped celery, bell peppers, and onions) as Cajun cuisine, but has a large variety of European, French, Caribbean, African, and American influences. Louisiana Creole cuisine is a style of Cooking originating in Louisiana (centered on the Greater New Orleans area that blends French, New Orleans (nʲuːˈɔrliənz nʲuːˈɔrlənz French: La Nouvelle-Orléans) is a major United States port city and the largest city in Louisiana The holy trinity of cuisine refers specificly to the use originated from the Cajun and Creole cuisines of Louisiana in the Southern United States The European peoples are the various Nations and Ethnic groups of Europe. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the
Gumbo is a traditional Creole dish. Gumbo is a stew or soup originating in Louisiana, and found across the Gulf Coast of the United States and into the U It was created in New Orleans by the French attempting to make bouillabaisse in the New World. The Spanish contributed onions, peppers, and tomatoes; the Africans contributed okra, where the dish gets its name due to the popularity of the vegetable in the stew; the Indians contributed Filé, which is ground sassafras leaves; and later on the Italians blasted it with garlic. Filé powder, also called gumbo filé is a Spice made from dried and ground Sassafras leaves The Germans contributed potato salad as a side and even started the practice of eating gumbo with a scoop of potato salad in it. The Germans also dominated the french bread industry in New Orleans and brought the practice of eating gumbo with buttered french bread. The German people (Deutsche are an Ethnic group, in the sense of sharing a common German culture, descent and speaking the German language as The French gave the roux to the stew and spices from the Caribbean, and over time it became less of a bouillabaisse and more of what is called gumbo. It is a stew consisting of, but can vary depending on the family, seafood gumbo( shrimp, crab, sausage, and oyster) or chicken sausage gumbo( chicken, sausage), and all contain the "Holy Trinity" and are served over rice. The holy trinity of cuisine refers specificly to the use originated from the Cajun and Creole cuisines of Louisiana in the Southern United States It is often seasoned with filé by Cajuns and Creoles all over Louisiana. Filé powder, also called gumbo filé is a Spice made from dried and ground Sassafras leaves
History reveals that "Gumbo" (Gombô, in Louisiana Creole, Gombo, in Louisiana French) was the word used in West and Central Africa for the okra plant. Okra ( American English:, British English,) also known as lady's finger, bhindi ( Hindustani) and gumbo, is a Okra is from the regions of Africa, and parts of the Middle East and Spain. The use of the word gombo was used to name the stew, due to its popularity to thicken the mixture before the roux came along. Thus, the stew was named Gumbo, because of the French accent used after first hearing Africans call Okra "Gombo," as in a shortening of the word kilogombó or kigambó, and guingambó or quinbombó, in West African.
Jambalaya is the second in line of fame of Louisiana Creole dishes. Jambalaya (ˌdʒʌmbəˈlaɪə or) or is a Louisiana Creole dish of Spanish and French creation It finds its origin in the original European city sector of New Orleans; the French Quarter, or vieux carré, in colonial days combining ham with sausage, rice and tomato. Today, jambalaya is prepared two ways: in New Orleans and its immediate environment, in parts of Iberia Parish as well as in parts of St. Martin Parish, jambalaya is red, and has for its base, tomato. Cajuns, generally speaking, prepare a "brown jambalaya", which is roux based with tasso. Jambalaya can combine chicken, sausage, fresh shrimp tails; or chicken and tasso.
Jazz, born in New Orleans sometime around the turn of the twentieth century, is the first local Black Creole music to be popularized. Jazz is an American Musical art form which originated in the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States
Zydeco (a transliteration in English of 'zaricô' (Snapbeans) from the song, "Les haricots sont pas salés"), born in Cajun and Black Creole communities on the prairies of southwest Louisiana in the 1920s is considered by many, if not most, as the Black Creole music of Louisiana. Zydeco ( French "les haricots" English "snap beans" is a form of American roots or folk music, that evolved from The jure during Zydeco purportedly hails from "Là-là", a genre of music now defunct, and old south Louisiana jurés. As Cajun French was the lingua franca of the prairies of southwest Louisiana, Zydeco was initially sung only in Creole or French. See also [[Cajun]] Cajun French (sometimes called Louisiana Regional French) is one of three varieties or Dialects of the French language A lingua franca (from Italian, literally meaning Frankish language, see etymology under Sabir and Italian below is any Language widely Later, creole-speaking Black Creoles, such as the Chénier brothers, Rosie Lédet and others, added a new linguistic element to Zyedco music. Rosie Ledet (born October 25 1971, Mary Roszela Bellard in Church Point Louisiana, USA) is a Creole Zydeco Accordion Today, most of Zydeco's new generation sings in English or Cajun French with a few in Louisiana Creole French.
Zydeco is related to Swamp Pop, American Blues, Jazz, and Cajun music. Swamp pop is a musical genre indigenous to the Acadiana region of south Louisiana and an adjoining section of Southeast Texas. American Blues were a 1960s Texas -based garage band who played a Psychedelic style of blues rock music influenced by the 13th Floor Elevators Jazz is an American Musical art form which originated in the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States See also [[Cajun]] Cajun music, an emblematic Music of Louisiana, is rooted in the Ballads of the French-speaking Acadians of An instrument unique to Zydeco music is a form of washboard called the frottoir, or scrubboard, a vest made of corrugated aluminum, and played by using bottle openers or caps down the length of the vest. A vest Frottoir is an instrument used in Zydeco music. It is usually made from pressed corrugated Aluminium and is worn over the shoulders