Cajun Information

Cajuns are an ethnic group mainly living in the U.S. state of Louisiana, consisting of the descendants of Acadian exiles . Today, the Cajuns make up a significant portion of south Louisiana's population, and have exerted an enormous impact on the state's culture.

While Lower Louisiana had been settled by French colonists since the late 18th century, the Cajuns trace their roots to the influx of Acadian settlers after the Great Expulsion from their homeland during the French and Indian War . The Acadia region to which modern Cajuns trace their origin consisted largely of what are now Nova Scotia and the other Maritime provinces, plus parts of eastern Quebec and northern Maine. Since their establishment in Louisiana the Cajuns have developed their own dialect, Cajun French, and developed a vibrant culture including folk ways, music, and cuisine.

The origin of the designation Acadia is credited to the explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano, who on his sixteenth century map applied the ancient Greek name "Arcadia" to the entire Atlantic coast north of Virginia. "Arcadia" derives from the Arcadia district in Greece which since Classical antiquity had the extended meanings of "refuge" or "idyllic place". The Dictionary of Canadian Biography says: "In the 17th century Champlain fixed its present orthography, with the 'r' omitted, and W.F.Ganong has shown its gradual progress northwards, in a succession of maps, to its resting place in the Atlantic Provinces."

Wikipedia, Cajun, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cajun (as of Mar 4, 2011)

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