Creole art and Culture






Beyonce Knowles and pop art

Panama Art


Creole people and Creole Art



The "free persons of color"

Were found in French colonial Louisiana as early as 1725. on August 14, 1725 Jean Raphael, a free Negro from Martinique, married Marie Gaspart from Brugues in Flanders.

On November 27, 1727, Jean Mingo, free Negro, married Therese, a Negro slave belonging to M. de Cantillo with permission of plantation manager Darby.


The Official beginning of The Creole Cultural Influence in what is now America


From the very beginning of Creole time , Creole Culture has been quite different from the Others...It is not Entirely Affrican nor European..The Culture is very Latin indeed which has been strongly influenced by the parent culture France..Our Language, Religious beliefs,The food We eat, Our Music and most of Our way of life has been the result of Our Mixed racial and Cultural charistics..

.The Indian, African, the French Europeans and the diverse Diversity of the Caribbean Cultures have all come together to Make Creole Culture what it was in the past and what it is now...Very little is known about Our Culture beyond Our Creole community but it is there and We want to pass it along to you...



Tommy Thompson Gallery



Inez Catalon
Kaplan, LA
French Creole Singer

1993 NEA Heritage Fellows



Inez Catalon was born September 25, 1918, in Kaplan, in southwest Louisiana, the youngest of 10 children of German, French, Spanish, and African ancestry.

"My granddaddy on my father's side was Spanish ... son of a Spanish father and a black mother, who was a slave," she said. "My great-grandfather had bought him 1,000 acres of land at 25 cents an acre, and he married a woman from France, Marcellete Bouquet.... My mother's father [a German] married a Broussard. So, you see, we are a very culturally mixed-up family."

Both her father and mother sang, but her father died when she was a young girl. She began singing herself at an early age. She never went to school, but, she said, " I always worked with people that understood me, and ... that was more play than work because I had too many friends around the house. I got on friendly with the girls — we were like one big family."

Catalon recalled that her sisters weren't interested, and that she liked to sing along with her mother, even though her mother was sometimes critical of her. "After my father died," she said, "when it would be cold in the wintertime, we had this fireplace, and Mama would sing.

She'd do it maybe when she got lonesome for her husband. And I'm sitting next to her, and she's in the middle, and we're on both sides. But sister ... maybe she'd have a needle and thread ... maybe she was sewing ... me, never that. I would look at Mama sing, and I'd repeat the words ... you know, and then sometimes I would sing with her, and she would correct me. She would say, 'Oh, Lord, you don't know how to sing. Your tongue is too heavy.'

She had a beautiful voice, but I told my mother I liked to sing. And I liked to hear myself sing, and I like the way I sound when I sing, but my mother could speak better French than I could because she didn't speak English. She was French."
Catalon's mother had a deep, rich voice, while hers, she said, "came right from the top." Still, Catalon persisted and learned most of the songs with French lyrics that her mother knew. In both France and Louisiana, these are known as cantiques. Some tell humorous stories ("M'Amie m'avait donne") or recount tales of love ("Je suis un homme d'une grand famille"). In addition, Catalon sings lullabies, ballads, and historical songs.

Her artistry epitomizes genuine folk song, in which the singer learns the song as something inseparable from lifestyle, family, and community associations, and through music expresses intensely personal experiences that are internalized as the songs are passed on from one generation to the next.

Catalon represents the rich tradition of home singing, in sharp contrast to Creole zydeco and Cajun dance hall music, which until recently was performed almost exclusively by men.
< 1993 NEA Heritage Fellows










Creole art and images


Creole Woman of Color




Authentic Creole Dolls


Creole Maman Dolls... by LaCour

A shelf in Isle Brevelle is filled with Louisiana Creole Maman dolls created by Lair LaCour, the official doll maker of the Cane River community in Louisiana.


© Philip Gould/CORBIS
Standard RM
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Clementine Hunter

an illiterate black field worker and later Melrose cook, received encouragement there in the late 1930s to take up serious painting She was in her mid 50s in a life that would span more than a century.

Thousands of pieces of her art tell the story of rural life in Louisiana. Raising animals. Picking cotton and pecan gathering. Taking her children with her to the fields. Going to church. Fifteen years after her death at 101, she is considered

Louisiana's most famous folk artist.



a Creole coctail



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