The people known as Cajuns came to what became Louisiana in the mid-18th century as a result of the French and Indian War. They were originally French settlers who first settled in Canada. The area of Canada from where these people came was called "Acadia," from which the word "Cajun" descended.Continue Reading
When the Acadians arrived in Louisiana, there was great distrust between them and the British settlers, because the British had just defeated the French and were responsible for the displacement of the French to the colonies. The Acadians instead chose to move to rural areas known as bayous, where they were largely left alone.
Louisiana was a Spanish nation, however, and also populated by Spaniards, Native Americans, Africans and Caribbeans. The various ethnic groups within the rural regions of Louisiana began to mix and evolved into contemporary Cajun culture. The Cajun language is a conglomeration of several languages, including Spanish, French, German and English and, over time, many dialects of Cajun have developed. In 1921, the Louisiana constitution dictated that all students must learn English. This ultimately led not only to a decrease in the amount of Cajuns who spoke some type of French-based dialect, but it was also responsible for an influx of English-based cultural influences.Learn more about Cultures & Traditions