Cajun and Zydeco music are some of the most well-known and popular aspects of South Louisiana culture that have become a fundamental part of the musical culture of the United States. It took several generations to form the Cajun and Creole identities and musical aspects of South Louisiana that continue to be celebrated. When people from other parts of the United States are asked about what kind of music they associate with South Louisiana, Cajun and Zydeco music come to mind. When these two styles of music are played in a social environment, they open the doors of communication and other social interactions. Some of these interactions are most famously known as “fais do do” and the many festivals held over the past several centuries. Both types of music are a staple in the identity of culture of the Cajuns and Creoles that settled and continue to live in this area of Louisiana. Both Cajun and Zydeco music have French and African roots. Most of their songs originated from the Acadian people who settled in the prairie regions of Nova Scotia. When they were forced out of Nova Scotia and moved to the bayous of South Louisiana, they brought their songs with them. The songs were developed from the people’s verbal stories and poetry of their loss and suffering during their journeys. Once they settled in South Louisiana, their songs began to evolve with the influences of the native people. Some of these natives came from France and the Caribbean. This paper will show how the history of these two types of South Louisiana music played a direct role in the evolved social and popular cultures of the Cajuns and Creoles and the United States.


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