October is Louisiana Folklife Month and a fitting time to celebrate two Natchitoches Parish residents. F.J. Delphin and Nicol Delphin were among the eight persons named as 2023 Louisiana Tradition Bearers by the Louisiana Folklife Commission and the Louisiana Folklife Society in a standing room only ceremony held at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame & Northwest History Museum, Saturday, October 21.
A Louisiana Tradition Bearer is a person who lives, preserves, and propagates a traditional Louisiana Culture. The Delphins certainly qualify! Married 28 years, the couple has lived most of their lives along the Cane River. They are lovingly restoring the 205 year old John Carroll Jones Plantation Home, built from a Creole architectural design. They are stalwarts of the Creole community centered around the Cane River and St. Augustine Church where they are lifelong parishioners.
The Delphins maintain the traditional lives of their Creole ancestors and community. They hunt, fish, grow gardens as well as quilting and other crafts, living a life close to the land as their ancestors did. They learned these skills from their parents and grandparents and are passing them on to their son and grandson. They are a veritable font of information and are always willing to teach others.
After they were presented with their certificates by Dr. Shane Rasmussen of NSU Folklife Center and Dr. Kent Peacock of NSU’s Creole Heritage Center, the Delphins joined a panel where they answered questions and spoke of how they maintained the traditional ways of life in the modern world. They brought examples of crafts, canned food, frog gigs and preserved food, The audience was also treated to a wonderful home-made gumbo made with local ingredients.
Lastly, there was a delightful bit of lagniappe. During his talk, F.J. mentioned his family dancing to “the Wooly Bully Song” at family events. Dr, Rasmussen found the song on his phone and there was an impromptu dance by many audience members who joined the Delphins. It was a delightfully unscripted moment!
The Natchitoches Parish Journal wishes to congratulate the Delphins on their well-earned honor.