According to the accepted definition, people born in a foreign country are considered creoles. In short, Creole is a stranger with external features unusual for a particular state. In order to be called a creole, a person must be born not in his native state, but in foreign lands. By the way, the descendants of the British and Portuguese, who arrived among the first on the American continent, were considered to be such at one time. Louisiana Creoles share cultural ties, such as the traditional use of French, Spanish, and Louisiana-Creole languages and the prevailing practice of Catholicism. Despite not being indigenous to Louisiana, Creoles were able to adapt and maintain their cultural uniqueness.
Creole, in the strict sense of the word, is a white race born in one of the former possessions of France, Spain, or Portugal in the New World, whose ancestors come from one or more from these countries. This word comes from the French creole, more or less equivalent to the Spanish criollo. According to most, the word “creole” is of Spanish origin from the Spanish verb “crear” – to create, to be born. There is a widespread belief that the word “creole” means a person with an admixture of black blood, but this opinion is erroneous and is probably the result of mixing the noun creole with the adjective creole since this adjective was usually associated with everything that was done in the above ex-colonies. Thus, there are “Creole” eggs, “Creole” carrots, “Creole” corn, and, in the same definitive sense, “Creole” Negroes.
In Louisiana, formerly a colony of Spain (in the 15th century), and then, in the 17th century. – France, the ancestors of the Creoles were representatives of both of these countries. Creoles were often wealthy planters and slaveholders, and their houses were full of French furniture and paintings. Many of them were graduates of French universities and, in turn, sent their children to study in Paris.
The close cultural ties of the Louisiana Creoles with France continued until the Civil War freed their slaves and destroyed their luxurious lifestyle. They could no longer send sons and daughters to study abroad. Instead, Creole children were forced to attend American public schools, where they laughed at them because of their peculiar French accent and were called “Kiskidees” – short for French “Qu’est ce qu’il dit?” (“What is he saying?”) It is the usual question of a Frenchman who hears English speech and does not understand it.
Speaking about the language, it is interesting to note that in the case of all the three Creole groups mentioned, almost identical local dialects appeared, which philologists consider a special new language – the only one created in this hemisphere since Columbus discovered it. Slavers loaded their human cargo onto ships in Africa, and, in order to avoid an organized uprising, they selected Negroes from areas far from each other so that they could not understand each other. As a result, these African-born slaves, based on broken French, created a kind of jargon – the language of communication between the master and the slave.
Each subsequent generation of plantation creole plants in Louisiana, the islands of Haiti and Martinique, and some of the smaller islands of the West Indies from childhood learned to speak this language from their Negro nannies. Currently, there are over six dozen Creole languages in the world.
As such, there is no Creole culture, however, the manner of singing and performing musical works in groups consisting of creoles is very peculiar. Motives, for the most part, are very rhythmic and melodic. Few people want to dance, stroking the brightly dressed Creole dancers. Musicians of Creole groups prefer the style of jazz. Depending on the place of residence and origin, such groups introduce certain motives into their works: African, Oriental, or Native American.
Among the Spanish Creoles, the tenth canaries, the romances, the ballads, and the Pan-Hispanic songs stand out, some of which date from the Middle Ages. It also highlights his adaptation of the music of the “islander” to other genres outside the Hispanic Creole community (especially the Mexican corridos).
Zydeco (English zydeco) is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in the southwestern regions of Louisiana among the Creole and Cajun populations. Characteristics – plentiful syncope and fast pace. Zydeco’s musical style arose from a mixture of French folk music, the rhythms of Africa and the Caribbean, Creole melodies; the central musical instrument here is the Cajun accordion. The term “zydeco” comes from the warped Franco-Creole expression “Les haricots sont pas salés” (“Beans are not salty”), referring to the life of African Americans who preferred to use beans with corned beef (corned beef went up in time, beans were served “empty” to the table). This phrase often appears in Creole songs, it also served as the name of the popular song Zydeco.
Creole New Orleans cuisine is a mix of Spanish, French, African, and Native American culinary traditions. As in Cajun, in this kitchen there are no exact dishes-quotes from the kitchens of the ancestors, the reasons are the same: new local products and the exchange of traditions of representatives of different peoples who formed new families. To give a more accurate picture, here is one example – the Jambalaya dish, a Creole version of Spanish paella.
Combines Creole and Cajun cuisine with common products (fish, seafood, rice, beans, game, and so on), the use of thick dark rue to thicken sauces, rich tastes, and spicy burning aromas of spices. The difference is simple: Creole cuisine took more from the French city cuisine, that is, more complicated in technology than the Cajun, as the Acadians were villagers and cooked easier.
Louisiana Creole cuisine – the unique cuisine of New Orleans residents; The “holy trinity” of this cuisine is celery, green pepper, and onion. It is possible to note that the classic creole dish is Gambo (“Louisiana Creole Culture”). This is stewed seafood (shrimp, crab, oysters, chicken, or Filet (ground leaves of the Sassafras tree) with the obligatory use of the “Holy Trinity,” which is served with rice.
This dish was created by the French, who tried to reproduce the bouillabaisse in New Orleans. The Spaniards added to these dishes onions, bell peppers and tomatoes, and African okra. This dish is based on Rui sauce (a mixture of vegetable oil and flour), which is then heated with constant stirring until it acquires a caramel color. The second famous Louisiana dish is Jambalaya. It appeared in the European quarter of New Orleans (French quarter in colonial times). It uses ham with sausages, rice, and tomatoes. Today, jambalaya is red and brown.
Currently, creoles are still quite common. Louisiana Creoles had to go through a difficult historical path from resettlement to the present day. In the process of adapting to a new place of residence, Creoles had to make some sacrifices. For example, most Creoles abandoned the French language, and today you can meet many families with undeniably Gallic surnames who do not know a word of this language, which are ironically called “ducks who cannot swim.” Modern Creoles of Louisiana are fully integrated into the life of the United States, while part of their cheerfulness was transmitted to the Anglo-Saxon part of the population. Thus, the Creoles were able to contribute to the cultural life of Louisiana and leave their uniqueness.
“Louisiana Creole Culture.” WebMD. 2016. Web.