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DELPHINS NAMED LOUISIANA TRADITION BEARERS

Brought To You By NSU; Written by David West

Cane River Creole cultural authorities Nicol and F.J. Delphin were named Louisiana Tradition Bearers by the Louisiana Folklife Commission and honored at a ceremony in October at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum at 800 Front Street in Natchitoches. Serving as a Folklife Ambassador for the Louisiana Folklife Commission, Dr. Shane Rasmussen, professor of English and director of the Louisiana Folklife Center at Northwestern State University, talked with the Delphins about their lifetime endeavors preserving Louisiana’s traditional folklife. Dr. Kent Peacock, assistant professor of history and director of the Creole Heritage Center at NSU, took part in the discussion.

Nicol and F.J. Delphin have been married for 28 years and are indigenous to Cane River. They are members of St. Augustine Catholic Church which is central to the Creole community. They are currently working to restore their 205-year-old historic structure, the John Carroll Jones Plantation Home, built from a Creole architectural design. They have been living along the banks of Cane River most of their lives and embrace their Creole culture where they learned the foodways and traditions from the elders and insist that they are passed on to future generations. Both are rich in cultural knowledge from the generations they descend from and are eager to share with others that are interested in Creole Culture traditions such as quilting, sewing, hunting, fishing, tanning, gardening, making cracklin’, hog roasting, using gigs, bow and arrow making, making jelly, syrup, ice cream sauce topping, salsa, drying of cayenne peppers, filé and more. They embrace the land and will continue to live the culture, carrying traditions from the earliest days. 

The well-attended ceremony and discussion were part of a series of events throughout the state for Folklife Month in Louisiana. The Delphins were honored with a certificate from Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, officially recognizing them as Louisiana Tradition Bearers. The event was sponsored by the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum, the Louisiana Folklife Center, the Louisiana Folklore Society and the Louisiana Division of the Arts and the Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism. Funding was also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works, and the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, in collaboration with the Louisiana Folklife Commission.

For more information, call the Louisiana Folklife Center at (318) 357-4332, email folklife@nsula.edu, or go to nsula.edu/folklife/.

PHOTO: Nicol and F.J. Delphin were named Louisiana Tradition Bearers by the Louisiana Folklife Commission and honored at a ceremony at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum in Natchitoches. Taking part in the discussion were, from left, Dr. Kent Peacock, assistant professor of history and director of the Creole Heritage Center at NSU; Nicol Delphin, F.J. Delphin and Dr. Shane Rasmussen, folklife ambassador for the Louisiana Folklife Commission, professor of English and director of the Louisiana Folklife Center at Northwestern State University. Photo by Kevin Shannahan.

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