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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
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Cajun musicians, 1938, photographed by FSA photographer
Farm Security Administration photographer Russell Lee documented Creole and Cajun culture in 1938.

Louisiana Folklife Festival

The Louisiana Folklife Festival grew out of the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition in New Orleans; the following year it became a stand-alone event which finally found a home in Monroe, Louisiana. The festival presents a wide variety of living traditions, from cooking to crafts, storytelling to music. Gathered for the event are African-American, Native American, Italian-American, Creole and Cajun cooks, each demonstrating traditional recipes and techniques on a live foodways stage. Craft tents feature over 30 traditional crafts from Choctaw baskets, to African-American walking sticks, from Mardi Gras masks to river fishermen's hoopnets and traps. Master storytellers share their talents on the Tales and Talk Stage. The Kid's Stage serves as a special area for performances by and for young people. But for most, the heart of the festival is music on three stages: everything from blues to bluegrass, from Celtic to zydeco. The 1999 festival offered a special focus on traditions from French-influenced Louisiana across all areas: music, narrative, crafts, and foodways.

The festival is documented with a 13-page narrative, a program from the 1999 festival, a CD entitled "Louisiana Folklife Festival," recorded live in Monroe, LA, 1999, and in the PBS television series "River of Song."

Originally submitted by: John Cooksey, Representative (5th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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