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Louisiana designated Cajun Creole Culture as the official state heritage in 1992, stating that hoop nets, cast nets, and shrimp trawls are part of the cajun and creole heritage of the state and, as such, should be preserved in order to help maintain the Cajuns and Creole culture.
Cajuns are the French colonists who settled the Canadian maritime provinces (Nova Scotia and New Brunswick) in the 1600s. The settlers named their
region "Acadia," and were known as Acadians. In 1713, the British took over Canada and expected all settlers, including the Acadians, to
defend the kingdom. The British demanded that the Acadians adopt the king's Protestant religion.
Over the next forty years, the Acadians' refusal to abdicate became a political and religious threat. The British government seized farms, burned villages, and expelled Acadian families. Families were separated as British soldiers loaded them onto ships with different destinations. Family members were shipped all over from New York to the West Indies. Some were sent down south to the Louisiana territories. Many Acadians found some acceptance in Louisiana, with its strong French background and Catholic heritage. Many family members were reunited there as they sought to locate one another.
It is here the Acadians eventually became known as "Cajuns." Cajuns developed their own distinct lifestyle in the swamps and surrounding areas of South Louisiana. Cajun contributions to New Orleans and Louisiana are immense, and have improved the quality of life we now enjoy.
Cajuns aren't Creole, and a Creole isn't a Cajun. Creoles as an ethnic group are harder to define than Cajuns. "Creole" can mean anything
from individuals born in New Orleans with French and Spanish ancestry to those who descended from African/Caribbean/French/Spanish heritage.
Creoles in New Orleans have played an important part in the culture of the city. Creoles, like Cajuns, have contributed so much to New Orleans art, music and social life; without them, New Orleans wouldn't be the unique city it is today.
The law designating that hoop nets, castnets, and shrimp trawls be preserved as they are part of the official Louisiana state Cajun and creole heritage is found in the Louisiana Statutes, Title 49, Section RS 49:170.3
TITLE 49 - State administration
RS 49:170.3 - Cajun and creole heritage
Universal Citation: LA Rev Stat § 49:170.3
§170.3. Cajun and creole heritage
It is hereby declared that hoop nets, castnets, and shrimp trawls are part of the cajun and creole heritage of the state and, as such, should be preserved in order to help maintain the cajun and creole culture.
Acts 1992, No. 44, §1.