The word Cajun originated in 19th century Acadie. The French of noble ancestry would us the phrase, "les Acadiens," while others referred to the Acadians as, "le 'Cadiens," dropping the "A." In America we didn't adopt the pronunciation of "Acadien" or "'Cadien", so a new word was born, "Cajun" and that is where the word originated.
According to LaFayette Travel, "The first known inhabitants are known to have populated the Lafayette area were the Attakapas Indians in the 1700s. The tribe was very powerful and feared by other Indians. The Attakapas dominated until three opposing tribes, the Opelousas, Alabamons and Choctaws, united in battle and conquered their opponent.
The exact date when the first European settlers reached the Lafayette, Louisiana area is not known. Early historians report that a few trappers, traders, and ranchers were present in the region before the Spanish occupation of 1766. A census conducted in 1769 by Spanish Governor O'Reilly indicated a population of 409 for the area.
The historical event of the 18th century which had the greatest cultural impact on Lafayette was the migration of the Acadians from French Canada. Approximately 18,000 French-speaking Catholic inhabitants settled Acadie (now Nova Scotia) in 1605 and lived there under French rule until 1713 when the region went into English hands.
Faced with the refusal of the Acadians to pledge allegiance to the British crown and Anglican Church, English Governor Charles Lawrence took action. Acting on his own and not under orders from the crown as he professed, he gave the orders that led to the expulsion of the Acadians in 1755, also known as "Le Grand Derangement."
Families were separated, and as the Acadians went to sea under dreadful conditions, more than half lost their lives. The exiles ended up in many locations. In 1784, the King of Spain consented to allow them to settle in South Louisiana. The Acadians then joined a scattering of their people who had arrived as early as 1765 from the Caribbean and the East Coast.
Some exiles settled at various locations along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, but most followed the path which led to New Orleans. There they received a hostile greeting from the French aristocracy, so they headed west into unsettled territory. They settled along the bayous of south-central and southwestern Louisiana where they could live according to their own beliefs and customs."
The Cajun Experience
To get an idea of who the Cajuns are the following video will give you a good idea.
What does it mean to be Cajun today?
According to many being Cajun is as much about lifestyle as bloodline. Cajuns see themselves as people who share everything with one another, appreciate their heritage, and settle primarily in Louisiana.
Over time their customers have been replaced by the commercialization of unique aspects of their identities which some Cajuns find it difficult to pin down a real meaning even though they feel deeply about their history.
At Salmon Brokers, we try to restore some of their heritage by bringing the flavor of authentic Cajun cooking to our salmon burger. If you are unable to travel to the Deep South in Louisiana and experience the culture as well as authentic Cajun food, you will want to try our Cajun Salmon Burger for a taste of the remarkable Cajun flavor. A taste we believe you will like and want to come back for more.