Louisiana Creole people are those who are descended from the colonial settlers of Louisiana, especially those of French, Spanish, Native American, and/or African descent. The term creole was first used by French settlers to distinguish between anyone born in Louisiana and someone born “from away.” Therefore, a person could be French-Creole, Spanish-Creole or African Creole or Native American Creole. It was a term used for “native-born”. A definition of a creole is a person, whether African or European, who was born in Louisiana. The term “creole” denotes a culture which embraces the influences of French, Spanish, African and Native American peoples in Louisiana. Louisiana Creoles have common European heritage and share cultural ties, such as the traditional use of the French language and may include the continuing practice of Catholicism. Some Creole people have African and/or Native American ancestry. Later immigrants to New Orleans, such as Irish, Germans and Italians, also married into the Creole groups, though most remain of French ancestry. Most modern Creoles have family ties to Louisiana. They are mostly Catholic in religion. Through the 19th century, most spoke French and were strongly connected to French colonial culture. They have had a major impact on the state’s culture; hence, Louisiana is known as the Creole State. While the sophisticated Creole society of New Orleans has historically received much attention, the Cane River area in northwest Louisiana developed its own strong Creole culture, as did several enclaves in south Louisiana: Frilot Cove, Bois Mallet, Grand Marais,Palmetto and others. These communities have had a long history of cultural independence.

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