what to wear when…in a cajun and/or* creole fairy tale.
examples: frè yè ke ont se rendu zozo yè (the men who became birds), baptiste e vagabon yè (baptiste and the pirates), marie jolie (beautiful marie, a bluebeard variant)
[the cajun and creole people] modified their own stories to suit their adopted homeland. kings came to live on bayous; princesses ate couche-couche and gumbo; the great northern loup-garou prowled the swamps. african motifs gradually blended into the [cajun-creole fairy tale tradition and] added vocabulary, superstitions, and themes…there’s a dark, scary side to the cajun and creole lore…because the cajun-creole landscape has its swamps and bayous, many of the stories are centered around those dark and sinister environments…[cajun and creole fairy tales] seem to have a strong interest in the little man or the unlikely hero [e.g. jean l’ours] who succeeds in spite of all expectations…a sharp wit (to be canaille) and resourcefulness (to be par en sous) pay off, while stupidity (to be a couyon) and greediness (to be moodee cursed) go unrewarded…the symbolic nature of animal characters allows tellers (raconteurs), especially members of oppressed communities such as medieval peasants and antebellum slaves, to indirectly criticize the social order…it is interesting to note the absence of the malicious spider, an important character in african and caribbean tales…there’s a strong flavor of the brer rabbit [compère lappin] tales in the stories and elements from the french, french-canadian, african, anglo-irish, native american, isleño, german, italian, spanish, czech, and vietnamese cultures.
*they are NOT interchangable and i’m not trying to say that, but from what i’ve learned in my short research - which could definitely be wrong - is that the cultures exist on more of a continuum than a binary and that louisiana fairy tales reflect a mix of the two more often than not
post 746 of an infinity-part series