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Cajun BreakdownThe Emergence of an American Made Music$
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Ryan André Brasseaux

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195343069

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195343069.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 02 December 2021

Becoming the Folk

Becoming the Folk

(p.91) 4 Becoming the Folk
Cajun Breakdown

Ryan André Brasseaux

Oxford University Press

This chapter deconstructs Cajuns’, and Cajun music’s, folk categorization. It analyzes three separate interpretations of folk culture as espoused by influential public intellectuals. Alan and John Lomax’s famed ethnographic folklore excursions through the American South, with a focus on the individuals and cultural contexts that informed the Depression era Cajun musical landscape, open the chapter. The first Cajun musicians to perform on a national stage at Sarah Gertrude Knott’s National Folk Festival are also included in this study as an example of Cajun music’s attachment to contemporary trends in the public consumption of folklore and the genre’s attachment to the American national project. William Owens’ little know field excursions are then used to demonstrate the perpetuation of Cajun music’ folk categorization.

Keywords:   folklore, folk music, National Folk Festival, Sarah Gertrude Knott, Alan Lomax, John Lomax, field recording, Texas Centennial, William Owens, Irene Whitfield, ethnography, folk song, ballad, Lauren Post, bilingual, French, Great Depression, salvage ethnography

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