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Smithsonian Institution. Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage  Search this
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Events in the Louisiana program at the Festival spoke to the context created by the unique history and geography of that part of the continent, where rich forms of creolization, or cultural mixture, have flourished. Creative blending of cultural aesthetics and repertoires has also occurred in other places in our country, but in few places to as great an extent and with the public vitality of the traditional cultures of Louisiana. To hear the diversity of musical styles, to see the varied dance and craft traditions, and to taste the renowned foods of the region should all lead one to reflect on the social and environmental conditions that brought Africans, American Indians, Anglo Americans, French, Spanish and other groups together in ways that led to the rich mixtures of language and culture distinctive of "The Creole State."

The Louisiana program at the Festival of American Folklife presented the best of traditional life to show how folk cultural resources can help sustain the State in the future if properly encouraged. Previous festivals showed Louisiana folk culture primarily in terms of Cajun and New Orleans musical traditions. The 1985 Festival attempted to correct this imbalance by presenting the traditions of the entire State: south Louisiana, north Louisiana, the Florida Parishes and New Orleans

Perhaps because Louisiana as a whole still speaks with diverse and contrasting voices of tradition, the State was just beginning to recognize and support programs that conserve and promote its folk cultures at the time of the Festival. In 1985 the legislature in Baton Rouge was considering first-time funding for the Louisiana Folklife Program. The efforts of the Smithsonian Institution and other groups over the preceding 20 years through fieldwork, sound recordings and festival presentation had done much to assist the conservation and renaissance of Cajun culture. Those presenting New Orleans culture had long emphasized tourist promotion but with less attention to the conservation of what some have called "the cultural wetlands" of the city, that is, its root traditions and communities. But the cultures of the Florida Parishes and north Louisiana had remained virtually ignored until quite recently. Festival planners hoped that the celebratory mingling of all the regions and cultures of Louisiana at the 1985 Festival would bring them their due applause that could be heard back home.

Susan Levitas and Larry Deemer served as Louisiana Program Coordinators, with Kate Porterfield as Assistant Coordinator, and Nicholas Spitzer as Consultant.

The Louisiana program was made possible by the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism through the Louisiana Office of Tourism and private donations through the Louisiana Heritage Foundation.
Barry Ancelet, Ray Brassieur, Joel Gardner, H.F. Gregory, Joyce Jackson, Allison Kaslow, Ulysses Ricard, Jr., Susan Roach-Lankford, Nicholas Spitzer

Foodways fieldworkers

Ulysses S. Ricard, Jr., Susan Roach-Lankford, Nicholas Spitzer
Barry Ancelet, Ifama Arsan, Maida Bergeron, Ray Brassieur, Joel Gardner, Joyce Jackson, Allison Kaslow, Sue Manos Nahwooksy, Ulysses Ricard, Susan Roach-Lankford, Kalamu ya Salaam, Nicholas Spitzer

Foodways presenters

Ulysses S. Ricard, Jr., Susan Roach-Lankford

Bel Abbey, blowgun, toy maker, Elton

David Allen, 1925-, walking stick maker, Homer

Rosie Lee Allen, 1929-, quilter, Homer

Barry Barth, float builder, New Orleans

Joseph Barth, III, 1951-, float builder, New Orleans

Tana Barth, float builder, New Orleans

Marjorie Wilma Battise, 1942-, pine straw basket maker, Elton

Gladys LeBlanc Clark, 1918-, Acadian weaver, Lafayette

Marie Dean, 1916-, palmetto weaver, Dulac

Anna Mae Distefano, St. Josephs' Altar decorator, Hammond

Vernie Gibson, catfish cage maker, hoop net maker, Jena

Mary Jackson Jones, 1930-2005, ribbon shirt maker, chinaberry bead worker, Trout

Elvina Kidder, 1911-1992, palmetto weaver, Arnaudville

H. A. "Hop" Kilby, shingle river, Columbia

Winnie Kilby, cotton carder, Columbia

Lucy Mike King, St. Josephs' Altar decorator, Hammond

Albert Latiolais, 1932-, boat builder, Breaux Bridge

Tony Latiolais, 1951-, boat builder, Breaux Bridge

Ferdinand Marange, 1919-1988, net maker, Mandeville

Nova Mercer, 1920-, quilter, Jonesboro

Troy Mistretta, boat building, Napoleonville

Truett Moore, 1919-1986, horn, gourd carver, Ruston

Al Muller, duck decoy carver, Metairie

Roy A. Parfait, 1943-, palmetto weaver, Dulac

Irvan Perez, 1923-, duck decoy carver, decima singer, St. Bernard

Azzie Roland, 1916-1992, split oak basket maker, Marion

Raymond Sedatol, 1924-2006, boat builder, Pierre Part

Ada Thomas, 1924-1992, cane basket maker, Charenton

Wille Mae Young, corn shuck weaver, Jackson


Sarah Mae Albritton, 1936-, north Louisiana cook, Ruston

Irene Blackwell, north Louisiana cook, Covington

Alexis Clark, crawfish boiler, Lafayette

Loretta Shaw Harrison, 1956-, New Orleans pralines maker, New Orleans

Louise Perez, Isleno cook, St. Bernard

Carmen Loretta Romero Ricard, 1925-, New Orleans cook, New Orleans

Lucy Sedatol, 1928-, Cajun cook, Pierre Part


Hayride String Band -- , old-time string band -- Hayride String Band, old-time string bandFred Beavers, 1932-, bass player, LincolnDouglas "Dobber" Johnson, fiddle player, ShreveportBill Kirkpatrick, 1928-, fiddle player, HaynesvilleMike Kirkpatrick, 1956-, guitar player, ShreveportLeslie Raborn, 1930-, mandolin player, JonesboroWilliam "Lum" York, bass player, Baton Rouge

Hezekiah and the Houserockers, -- river blues -- Hezekiah and the Houserockers, river bluesJames Baker, guitar player, St. JosephHezekiah Early, 1934-, drums, harmonica player, vocalist, Natchez, MississippiPee Wee Whittaker, trombone player, Ferriday

Mamou Hour Cajun Band, -- Cajun music -- Mamou Hour Cajun Band, Cajun musicSady Courville, fiddle player, EuniceLee Manuel, fiddle player, MamouDennis McGee, fiddle player, EuniceD.L. Menard, guitar player, ErathAllie Young, accordion player, Eunice

Old-Time Blues

Samuel Hogan, 1953-, drummer, Baton Rouge

Silas Hogan, guitar player, Baton Rouge

Arthur "Guitar" Kelley, 1924-, guitar player, Baton Rouge

Old-Time Creole Music

Alphonse "Bois Sec" Ardoin, accordion player, Eunice

Morris Ardoin, guitar player, Eunice

Canray Fontenot, fiddle player, Welsh

The Ott Family, -- urban gospel -- The Ott Family, urban gospelE. L. Ott, 1936-, second lead, AvondaleElijah Ott, 1963-, tenor, AvondaleJerry Ott, Sr., 1943-, alto, MetairiePatricia Ann Roberts Ott, 1964-, tenor, soprano, AvondalePurvis Lorenzo Ott, 1961-, alto, AvondaleSolomon Ott, 1957-, bass, Avondale

St. Landry Playboys, -- zydeco music -- St. Landry Playboys, zydeco musicCalvin Carrière, fiddle player, OpelousasPhillip Carrière, drummer, OpelousasJ.C. Gallow, 1944-, frottoir player, MamouR.L. Joubert, 1935-, guitar player, OpelousasNolton Semien, 1939-, accordion player, Church Point

White Cloud Hunters, -- Mardi Gras Indians -- White Cloud Hunters, Mardi Gras IndiansCharles Taylor, 1954-, "Chief", New OrleansKeith Barnes, 1956-, "Spyboy", New OrleansTony Guy, 1969-, "Lil' Chief", New OrleansGeorge Harden, 1955-, "Flagboy", New Orleans Lionel Oubichon, "Uncle Bird", 1925-1995, New OrleansAlbert Richardson, "Al", 1913-, New Orleans

Young Tuxedo Brass, -- New Orleans jazz -- Young Tuxedo Brass, New Orleans jazzCharles Barbarin, bass drum player, New OrleansLucien Barbarin, 1956-, tuba player, New OrleansDavid Grillier, tenor saxophone player, New OrleansScotty Hill, trombone player, New OrleansAwood Johnson, trombone player, New OrleansGreg Stafford, coronet player, New OrleansJoseph Torregano, clarinet player, New OrleansMichael White, clarinet player, New Orleans

Zion Travelers, -- old-time gospel -- Zion Travelers, old-time gospelAdo Dyson, 1926-2005, first tenor, Baton RougeJames Harvey, 1937-, baritone, Baton RougeJoel Harvey, 1913-1991, bass, Baton RougeRobert McKinnis, 1953-, first tenor, Baton RougeBurnell James Offlee, second tenor, lead, Baton Rouge

Oliver Anderson, 1926-1986, tap dancer, parade marshal, New Orleans

Curt Blackwell, old-time fiddler, Covington

Clifford Blake, cotton press caller, Natchitoches

Thomas Edison "Brownie" Ford, cowboy skills, ballads singer, Hebert

Pleasant "Cousin" Joseph, old-time blues piano player, New Orleans

Issac Mason, tap dancer, New Orleans
Collection Restrictions:
Access by appointment only. Where a listening copy or viewing copy has been created, this is indicated in the respective inventory; additional materials may be accessible with sufficient advance notice and, in some cases, payment of a processing fee. Older papers are housed at a remote location and may require a minimum of three weeks' advance notice and payment of a retrieval fee. Certain formats such as multi-track audio recordings and EIAJ-1 videoreels (1/2 inch) may not be accessible. Contact the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections at 202-633-7322 or for additional information.
Collection Rights:
Copyright and other restrictions may apply. Generally, materials created during a Festival are covered by a release signed by each participant permitting their use for personal and educational purposes; materials created as part of the fieldwork leading to a Festival may be more restricted. We permit and encourage such personal and educational use of those materials provided digitally here, without special permissions. Use of any materials for publication, commercial use, or distribution requires a license from the Archives. Licensing fees may apply in addition to any processing fees.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Folklife Festival records: 1985 Festival of American Folklife, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, Smithsonian Institution.
CFCH.SFF.1985, Series 3
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Smithsonian Folklife Festival records: 1985 Festival of American Folklife
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Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections

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