A Resilient People: Traditional Folklife in Louisiana

By Kevin Shannahan

Kevin’s Gallery

Some of the many things that make Louisiana a truly unique place were on display before a capacity crowd at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest History Museum Thursday July 18. Dr. Shane Ramussen, director of the Louisiana Folklife Center at NSU, was the emcee of a lively discussion of everything from Native American pine straw baskets to folk art, soap making, trapping, hunting and fishing. These are all traditional crafts and skills that are still in use today by the men and women on the panel. The evening also featured musical entertainment from the always superb Ed Huey and John Litzenberg who played several pieces in traditional styles.

The museum could also legitimately lay claim to being the best restaurant in town that evening as the panelists brought savory examples of Native American and Creole foodways. There are many things that make Louisiana a special place to live. Those of us who live here often do not notice these people and places right among us in our day to day lives. Programs like tonight’s presentation remind us of the delightful things we all too often miss.

The Louisiana Folklife Festival will be held at NSU’s Prather Coliseum July 26-27. Be sure to come out to enjoy some of Louisiana’s wonderful musical legacy and arts and crafts.