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Acadian Memorial

Acadian Odyssey

St. Martinville, LA
(318) 394-2258 

A quilt was made my members of the Acadian Quilter's Guild.  It has been on display
at the Acadian Memorial.  Here is an image of the quilt and an explanation of it's sections.

 Acadian Odyssey
De L'Acadie a la Nouvelle Acadie
     Nova Scotia, the original home of the Acadians in the New World, was settled first by fishermen, then fur trappers, then farmers.  Acadie remained their homeland for 150 years until the Diaspora, the massive deportation by the British in 1755.  The Acadian exiles were dispersed to North America, Europe, and the Caribbean.  Following years of wandering, the exiles found a new home in South Louisiana.
     Acadian Odyssey --- Acadie to Nouvelle Acadie, the commemorative quilt was designed, appliqued, pieced and quilted by members of the Quilt Guild Acadienne, depicts the saga of the Acadians.  Here is a description of the sections and the people that did the creative applique for each section.

At the top panel, Le Grand De'rangement (The Expulsion), portrays the exile of the Acadians from Nova Scotia by the British in 1755. [Noemie Charleville, Edna Guilbeau, Kathleen Stevenson]
Enfin --- La Nouvelle Acadie (Home at Last), the panel at the lower edge, represents life in Nouvelle Acadie carved out of the land by the hard work and industry of the Acadian people. [Joan Fontenot, Marylin Morvant, Hazel Felahoussaye]
Panels in the center of the quilt depict various aspects of the Acadian way of life.  Beginning at the upper right and proceeding clockwise the panels are as follows:
     Une Fille et un Garcon Acadiens (Acadian Boy and Girl), a stereotype of the people and their manner of dress, is frequently used commercially to promote various products as well as the people of Acadians.  [Shirley Miller Borel, Betty Freeland-Salassi, Cassia Mick, Irene Foux Thompson]
     La Chasse (The Hunt) emphasizes hunting as an essential part of the Acadians' way of life, as it often provided food for the table.  Over the years, hunting has become a major source of recreation.  [Eleanor Bourgeois, Genevieve Bourgeois]
     Les Ramasseurs de Mousse Espagnole (The Moss Pickers) are portrayed in the next panel.  The intriguing Spanish moss was a valuable resource for the Acadians.  After drying, the moss was used to stuff mattresses.  It was also an important ingredient in the bousillage used in the construction of homes.  Later, moss was used in upholstery of buggies and early automobiles.  [Phyllis Tabbert, Juanity Brasseaux Rivette]
     The next panel, Au Travail (At Work), depicts the skills utilized by the Acadians.  Friendly Indians provided information on the resources available in the new homeland.  Growing cotton, carding, spinning, weaving and sewing provided clothing and household necessities, such as quilts, blankets and linens.  The abundant palmettos were dried and woven into hats, baskets, and mats.  Clay was used in pottery, bricks, and the bousillage used in construction.  Many of these essential skills have been passed down through generations.  Today, the products as well as the skills of Acadian craftsmen are highly prized.  [Carolyn Koontz, Sherry Moore]
     The hard-working Acadians were also fun loving.  Joie de vivre (Joy of Living) shows a typical get-together.  The accordian, the fiddle and the 'ti-fer were commonly found at dances, held in the yeard, the barn or sometimes in the home.  Entire families attended, and as the day came to an end, young children and infants were put to sleep on pallets or blankets.  From this custom evolved the term "fais do do."  [Anne Thompson, Noemie Chaney Charleville, Judy St. Amand]
     Dimance Matin (Sunday Morning) shows the deep religious faith of the Acadians.  Churches were among the first public buildings built, and arrangements for a priest extremely proud to have a son or daughter enter religious life.  [Hazel DeRoussel Alleman, Wilda Hebert Pepper]
     Although children worked hard to help provide part of the family livelihood, there was time to play.  Les Enfants Jouants (Children at Play) shows the ingenuity of the children in finding amusement, a reflection of the industry of their parents.  [Carole Gaubert]
     The map La Louisiane (Louisiana), shows the original area, La Nouvelle Acadie, settled by the Acadians.  Since their arrival in South Louisiana, this prolific people has migrated to other parts of the state, taking with them the Acadian influence that is an important element of Louisiana's unique culture.  [Sharon Thibodeaux, Rosemary Florstedt, Hazel Alleman]

Design Art Work - Rita Ridling
Assembly and Sandwiching by KOA Quilters

   Hazel DeRoussel Alleman, Wilda Pepper, Edna Turler Guilbeau, Buttons Adamson, Nancy Hoffman Short, Cassia Mick, Genevieve Bourgeois, Mary Toce, Rosemary Florstedt, Cindy Colvin, Kathleen Stevenson

   Irene Hargrave Guidry, Joyce Palumbo Breaux, Mary LeBlanc Briganti, Evelyn Stermon Comeaux, Janette Murphy Mestayer, Debbie DeRouen Perron, Bonnie Broussard Robin, Rosemary Perkins Chapman, Suzanne Pesson Martin Bourgeois
Binding - Margaret David
Hanging Sleeve - Edna Mae Savant
Commemorative Quilt Committee

   Noemie Chaney Charleville, Reta Ridling, Genevieve Bourgeois, Cindy Colvin, Debbie Perron
Label by John Guidry

Acadian-Cajun Genealogy & History
Acadian History | Acadian Genealogy | Cajun History | Cajun Genealogy 
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