Folklife Entries

Accordion Making

The diatonic button accordion is a prominent and distinguishing feature of Cajun music, first imported to Louisiana from Europe in the late nineteenth century by German Jewish immigrants. Read »

All Saints Day

All Saints Day or All Hallows Day is a Catholic tradition honoring the saints and also deceased family members each November 1. Read »

Baby Dolls

The Baby Dolls were one of the first women's street masking groups in the United States. The practice continues today as a living legacy. Read »

Basketry (Native American)

A hallmark of southeastern Indian societies, cane basketry traditions persist in fewer than ten contemporary tribal communities in the southeastern United States, including three in Louisiana. Read »

Blues Music

Of the 119 musicians inducted into the national Blues Hall of Fame, roughly twenty percent are from Louisiana. Read »

Brice, Bruce

Bruce Brice's street murals in the Tremé neighborhood of New Orleans help him earn the first-ever artist's commission for the official poster of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Read »

Butler, David

Well known in for his audaciously decorated home and lawn, David Butler fashioned whimsical, brightly painted assemblages from salvaged roofing tin to become one of the twentieth century's most widely collected self-taught artists. Read »

Cajun Dance Halls

Cajun dance halls—salles de danse—are live music venues where dancing, courtship, and community building transpire. Read »

Cajun Folklife

Cajun folklife is a field of study that describes, catalogs, and deciphers meaning within the vernacular culture of Acadian refugees who settled in Louisiana. Read »

The Campeche Chair

The Campeche chair, a leather or caned sling seat supported by a non-folding cross-frame, was in widespread use in the United States and New Spain in the first half of the nineteenth century. Read »

Congo Square

Congo Square, now Armstrong Park in New Orleans's Treme neighborhood, served as a gathering ground for Africans in the early years of the city. Read »

Courir de Mardi Gras

The courir de Mardi Gras is the rural celebration of Mardi Gras, or Carnival, in Louisiana, usually held in Cajun communities. Read »

Crawfish Boils

Crawfish boils are a springtime ritual in Louisiana. Read »

Evangeline Legend

The legend of a displaced Acadian couple, Evangeline has played an important role in Louisiana history and culture despite its fictional nature. Read »

Fontenot, Canray

The music of Creole fiddler Canray Fontenot cuts across a variety of musical genres: Cajun, zydeco, and blues-waltzes, a unique style combining elements of blues and jazz. Read »

Jazz Funerals and Second Line Parades

New Orleans Jazz Funerals are public burial services for prominent community members; traditionally African American males. After the funeral service, a procession of musicians, funeral directors, family, and friends moves from the site of the funeral to the cemetery while marching to the beat of a brass band. Read »

Krewe of Comus - 1873 Parade

Mardi Gras of 1873 provided the occasion for a bold display of political commentary and costume artistrly by the Mystick Krewe of Comus. Read »

Lomax, John

John Avery Lomax was a folklorist and musicologist who, with his son Alan Lomax, made the first recording of the Louisiana blues guitarist Huddie Ledbetter (Lead Belly) at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. Read »

Manuel, Georgie and Allen

Allen and Georgie Manuel are a husband-wife team who make traditional costumes of the Cajun courir du Mardi Gras, the celebration of Carnival season in rural South Louisiana. Read »

Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Mardi Gras in New Orleans is celebrated by costumed revelers, krewes, floats and flambeaux, parades, and masked balls. Read »

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