goal for "On the Bayou" is to capture and document as many of our
Acadian oral histories
for Louisiana. Oral history is the oldest form of history. These histories
are spoken, electronically recorded or written, either by the person with
the story or by interviews, or in testimonies by oral history experts.
The histories are usually passed down from one generation to the other
and are part of our local tradition and culture. They include all of those
family stories that so many of us have heard from our grandparents, parents,
aunts or uncles, and later wished we could remember. By virtue of its nature,
oral history, is highly perishable and unfortunately, so much of the detail
and substance of those histories are lost over time. This is especially
true for the generations of the past century where our families have been
so mobile, making it difficult to teach those histories to the younger
generations. Fortunately, a relatively small part of our oral history is
documented anecdotally and in some cases, some often serve as the basis
for research which eventually become part of our documented history. Hopefully,
our effort in this section will augment the number of oral histories that
your e-mail to:
To build on our work
here, we invite you to submit your family stories to us in a new section
to our 'La Jaseuse'
blog (After going to the blog, click "On the Bayou: More Stories"
in the 'Our Postings' section in the left side bar of the blog.).
We invite all of our Louisiana Theriot family members to tell your stories
that you may have experienced first-hand any time prior to the 1950's,
or that were told to you by your family elders. They can be short (many
are) or they can be long. Here are examples of a few oral
histories or family stories.) This is a good way to make sure these
stories are not lost. Let's start writing down some of those stories!
the launching of our website in 1999, one of our first and most loyal visitors
was a sweet lady from Vermilion Parish in Louisiana who we call 'MizMo'.
She came into this world in 1922 as Aline Elizabeth Theriot, a daughter
of Alexandre Telesphore Theriot and grand-daughter of Telesphore and Maria
Theriot, head of the Great-Branch. Later, a Mr. Joseph Edias Meaux asked
for her hand and the two raised a family of nine children. So, today we
have 'MizMo': a sister, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, genealogist,
Cajun cook, and most important to us, a story-teller, who is very well
connected to the World-Wide Web!
As you will see,
MizMo has a way with words. Her short stories offer a rare glimpse of Cajun
life in Louisiana. Each is a virtual gem revealing the hard but happy life
of the Acadian families. The customs and traditions of the period are woven
into her warm and cozy tales of life in a Cajun home. Her short stories
of life ON THE BAYOU (including one or two poems) are listed below from
the earliest (at the top) to the most recently published.
early Acadian settler and his home in the Attakapas region of
"The Acadian Miracle", by Dudley J. LeBlanc)
IS A CAJUN?
shall I say about a Cajun?
are utterly impractical, never predictable,
irascible, quite inexplicable, Cajun..
blend of shyness, pride and conceit.
stubborn refusal to bow in defeat..
spoiling and ready to argue and fight,
the smile of a child fills his soul with delight..
eyes are the quickest to well up in tears,
his strength is the strongest to banish your fears...
faith is as fierce as his devotion is grand..
there's no middle ground on which he will stand..
wild and he's gentle, he's good and he's bad,
proud and he's humble, he's happy and sad..
in love with the ocean, the earth and the skies.
enamored with beauty wherever it lies..
victor and victim, a star and a clod,
mostly he's Cajun and in love with his God..
Cadien de la Savane de Gueydan
ON THE BAYOU...