Talk:Cajun

From Sajun.org

Who is this 64.152.159.xxx who is "trying to make Cajun into an enclycopedia article?" He's managed to mangle what he's touched so far. I can only hope he'll try harder -- without his contemptuous and gratuitous comments. step


Dear 64.152.159.xxx,

Try again. There's so much attitude in here that the facts are getting lost. To make the point only once, the Louisiana Cajuns are the descendants of the Acadians. There is nothing "purist" about this, it is plain historical fact.

The whole entry is full of this kind of error.

Best regards, Ortolan88


Don't blame 64etc for that! The original writing is mine and the attitude, along with it. To answer your objection, among the folks in the swamp, the way of life makes a person a cajun, not his ancestry. That is objective fact, if you have ever been in the area and talked with the people. They are not concerned with the fine points of an ethnologist's definition. To say that only people with Acadian ancesters are Cajun is not the whole of it.

Also, I'm new around here and haven't developed that elusive objectivity, which seems to be so important. Admittedly, I'm a tad feisty, too, especially when faced with intellectual arrogance. I'll have to work on that.

step


Dear Step,

I'm not looking for a fight. I'm trying to help make a good encyclopedia. If you want to fight, I will drop out. If you want to make a good encyclopedia, I will help. No one is impugning the Cajun heritage. If the definition of Cajun goes beyond the ethnological definition, why not say so? Such as:

"While the first Cajuns were descendants of the Acadians evicted from Canada in 1755 by the British, the Cajun culture today encompasses many people who do not fit this historical or ethnological definition. Both culturally and socially, the Cajun way of life dominates the area . . ." and so forth.

Tell how it happened. Tell what it means.

Here are some questions for you:

Does the history of oppression and injustice affect the way Cajuns view the world today?
What are the relationships between white Cajuns and black French-speaking people in the same area? Are they all considered Cajuns? I believe there are also Spanish-speaking settlements in the area. And of course outsiders and English-speaking whites and blacks.
What is the unique culture that has emerged from this mix of cultures?
How closely related are Cajun music, zydeco (which many people consider part of R&B), and the folk music traditions of the Acadians before their eviction?
What about the same mixture of cultures and the impact on food?
What are the unique elements of the Cajun culture and what impact does it have?
What makes a Cajun? Can anyone become one? How has the Cajun culture come to be adopted by people who don't fit the ethnological definition?

This isn't arrogance, it is the give and take that goes into making a reference work that everyone can use. Believe me, I have nothing against colorful entries, so keep it colorful, but an encyclopedia article about Cajuns has to explain things to people who don't have the advantages you have in understanding the Cajuns.

I'm not an old-timer here either. I try to imagine a 10th-grader or a college freshman researching a topic and figure out what they would need to know.

Best regards, Ortolan88


Sounds like you want a book and not an article for an encyclopedia. Go for it, dude, because the field is wide open. step

Just trying to help. Don't want to take over.Ortolan88

What Ortolan88 proposses seems reasonable to me, but step does have a point that the proposal is a bit much just for one article. The best thing to do is to just add and edit the article until it reaches a certain length and then it can be broken up into other articles for a more thorough discussion of each point. It would be nice though, if the person doing the moving would summarize the moved material into sections and then provide links to the more expansive articles next to those summaries. This article would then be a central place where all things Cajun could be introduced and other articles would then go into the details. --maveric149


Sorry step, mav, anybody else, if I caused confusion in my enthusiasm. They were just some of the questions that occurred to me, didn't mean that they all had to be answered, there's a lot of useful stuff in this entry already, plus a little bit of over-the-top prose.

I really like the approach you propose. It seems to me it would be worth a writeup "How to organize and present 'all things X'" and would benefit lots of other articles as well. Ortolan88, Sunday, June 23, 2002


Is that supposed to be "hardy and resourceful"? -phma


No improvements in this article in a long time. Still rife with problems, weak, lacking in information, non-NPOV. Ortolan88 07:09 Nov 15, 2002 (UTC)

I tried to improve some of this article but I am more familiar with Acadians than with Cajuns so I will leave the improvement to Cajuns like good eats etc. to someone else. -p. stoltz 132...


My understanding is that Cajuns came to the American South by way of France. That is, they were sent to France first, then they didn't like it there, so they came back to the American continent. (I am by no means knowledgeable on this subject, but I think that's what a PBS program about Cajuns said)


OK folks, I've applied Wikipedia:WikiProject Ethnic Groups Template. I think that is a good structure for this article. Given the semi-war above, I hope no one will hate me for this action. Again, my only concern here is structural, and I believe I have not removed any meaningful content that was there before. Have at it! -- Jmabel 23:46, 16 Feb 2004 (UTC)

This is really a great article right now. I enjoyed it, it seemed fairly cleanly-written, and I learned from it. More information is necessary, but I'm pleased with what's there so far. Good detail, good breadth. I want to go to Louisiana now. glasperlenspiel 04:41, Jun 16, 2004 (UTC)

Population

The recently added population statistics look plausible, but no source is cited. -- Jmabel 17:29, Oct 7, 2004 (UTC)

Better numbers with sources added--Xj14y 17:47, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)