Cajun and Creole Folktales: The French Oral Tradition of South Louisiana

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Collected and annotated by Barry Jean Ancelet
Issue Date
1994
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Book, Whole
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First published in 1994 by Garland as Volume 1 of the World Folktale Library. It has taken me some nine months to get to cataloguing this book, and now it is a pleasant surprise. Ancelet is a major scholar of Cajun music and folklore, and the scholarship of this book is impressive. I expected the original texts to be hard or even impossible to decipher, but their French is not hard at all. A first section covers animal tales, each with an account of its background and place in the world of folklore and fable. I find there eight stories that students of fable will readily recognize. Both #2 and #3 deal with the tar-baby story. Number 4 is a variant of the weasel in the granary: "In the grocery" makes a great title! Here a rabbit replaces the monkey in #9, the story about the cat and the chestnuts in the fire. Elephant and serpent are the main characters in #11, which is the familiar story whose key line is "Show me how it happened" and whose resolution has the malefactor put back into his confinement. The list is rounded out by #13 (FG), #14 (OF), and #15 (GA). This book is a rich resource!
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University Press of Mississippi
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