Bayou

Bayou

[bahy-oo, bahy-oh]
Teche, Bayou, 125 mi (201 km) long, S La., formed by tributary bayous and flowing SE to the Atchafalaya River near Morgan City. Navigable for more than 100 mi (161 km), it flows through a fertile sugarcane area. Bayou Teche was the setting for Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Evangeline.
bayou [Louisiana Fr.; from Choctaw bayuk=small stream], term used mainly in U.S. Gulf states, especially Louisiana and Mississippi, to describe a stationary or sluggishly moving body of water that was once part of a lake, river, or gulf and is swampy or marshy in nature. Bayou is sometimes used as a synonym for oxbow lake, a former meander in a river valley cut off from that stream.
Macon, Bayou, c.145 mi (230 km) long, rising in SE Ark. and flowing S into NE La. to the Tensas River. It was used as a rendezvous by the bandits Frank and Jesse James.

A bayou (pronounced or ) is a small, slow-moving stream or creek, or a lake or pool (bayou lake) that lies in an abandoned channel of a stream. Bayous are usually located in relatively flat, low-lying areas, for example, in the Mississippi River delta region of the southern United States. A bayou is frequently a slackwater anabranch or minor braid of a braided channel, that is moving with less velocity than the mainstem. Many bayous are the home of crawfish, certain species of shrimp, other shellfish, and catfish.

The word was first used by the English in Louisiana and is thought to originate from the Choctaw word bayuk, which means "small stream." The first settlements of Acadians in southern Louisiana were near Bayou Lafourche and Bayou des Ecores, which led to a close association of the bayou with Cajun culture.

Bayou Country is most closely associated with Cajun and Creole cultural groups native to the Gulf Coast region generally stretching from Houston, Texas, to Mobile, Alabama, with its center in New Orleans, Louisiana.

An alternate spelling "buyou" has also been used, as in the "Pine Buyou" used in a description by Congress in 1833 of Arkansas Territory.

Bayous are often the setting of horror movies since they are commonly seen as spooky and mysterious. Some famous horror movies that are associated or take place in bayous include The Skeleton Key, Hatchet, and The Reaping.

See also

Famous bayous

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