Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Isleño Life On L'Isle, Delacroix Island, Louisiana, 1915 - Part 1

Blogger's Note:  It doesn't take a Times Picayune journalist long to know he is in foreign territory on his trip from New Orleans to "De La Croix" (Delacroix) Island, Louisiana in 1915.  Despite; or in fact because of, the curt tone of his opening phrases, the overwhelming softening of his words into the familiar descriptions recorded in later passages makes for a fascinating read.   This collection of documents, written in 1915, offers a day-to-day account of the insular community of Canary-Islanders, Los Isleños, established in the 18th century.

(Above) B&W photo, 1941.  "Spanish trapper and his children taking muskrat pelts into the FSA (Farm Security Administration) auction sale which is held in a dancehall on Delacroix Island, Louisiana. The fur buyers come from New Orleans." Note: "Spanish" in this context probably means the trapper is a Louisiana Isleño.

From the Times Picayune October 10, 1915:

"L'Isle, or De La Croix Island Is Peopled by a Strange Mixed Race with Spanish Dominant

They call it the Island, in their narrow provincial way, as if it were the only island in the world; but, to be more specific, it is De La Croix Island, a small portion of land lying far to the south of fair Louisiana, and near to the bosom of the great, blue, Gulf.

Bayou Terre aux Boeufs, considered to have been once a tributory (sic) of the mighty Mississippi, but closed in time and lately partially reopened by dredging, flows past in its leisurely way.

Bayou Lery, Lake Lery and Bayou Gentilly also contribute to the inclosure of the land, and though there is nothing especially beautiful or inspiring in these waterways, still they have quiet charm which is indisputable."  Photos courtesy of the State Library of Louisiana. 

Continue Article: | Isleño Life - Part 2 | Isleño Life - Part 3 | Isleño Life - Part 4 | Isleño Life - Part 5 |