\>Welcome to Cajun Country, a place to make friends, eat well, and “pass a good time.” Here, Cajuns will welcome you to their celebrations, large and small, their restaurants and dances – maybe even to their homes. If you stay here for just a little while, we’re sure you’ll want to come back often.A Brief Cajun History: Just after the turn of the 17th Century the French established a settlement in what is now Nova Scotia, one of the Canadian Maritime Provinces. A series of wars between England and France placed control of the colony in the hands of first one country and then the other; finally, in 1713, the Treaty of Utrecht ceded Acadia to England once again. Unsurprisingly, the French settlers refused to sign a loyalty oath to the King of England, fearing that they would someday be required to take up arms against their own countrymen.
After protesting more than 40 years, in 1755 the French farmers in Acadia were expelled from their homes and cast adrift among the other British colonies in America. In what came to be called “Le Grand Derangement” (The Great Craziness), families were separated and forced onto ships under dreadful conditions; more than half lost their lives. Rejected at every turn because no preparations had been made to receive them and they had no means of support, many of the Acadians eventually immigrated to Louisiana from both the English settlements on the continent and from Santo Domingo in the Caribbean.Settling here with aid from Spain, they brought with them a diverse heritage, farming skills, a love of music and fun, and a determination to retain their language and culture. The poorest of the poor, they settled along the bayous north of New Orleans, using the winding shallow swamps as “roads” for both commerce and communication among themselves; eventually, they spread to the plains to the north and west, adding cattle ranching to farming and fishing as a livelihood.
These were the forefathers of today’s Louisiana Cajuns who retain the deep-seated love of family, fondness for music and dancing and reverence for good food that was part and parcel of the French colonists ousted from their land so long ago. As time passed, their French-Acadian heritage incorporated Spanish, French, German, Haitian, and Native American Indian elements to form the distinctive, unique Cajun culture found today in South Louisiana.