Kinsearching September 22, 2013




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     The year 2013 marks the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the NSU Creole Heritage Center and the 20th anniversary of the annual Creole Heritage Celebration. Activities to celebrate this double-anniversary event will take place on Thursday and Friday, 10-11 October 2013, in the Friedman Student Union Ballroom at Northwestern State University (NSU) in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Emphasizing the main cultures (French, American Indian, African American, and Spanish) that compose Creole, sessions will focus on genealogy, history, archaeology, language, music, and cuisine associated with the traditions that make up the Creole heritage. Topics to be presented will pertain to American Indian connections, Creoles in the census, the African American experience on Cane River plantations, Creole archeology, the Tunica-Biloxi Singers, life on the Creole frontier, and the Louisiana French dialect. Featured speaker will be eminent genealogist, Elizabeth Shown Mills. Also scheduled to attend is Georgina Dhillon, editor-in-chief of Kreol Magazine, an international publication dedicated to promoting the Creole culture across all Creole-speaking countries.

     Concurrent with the sessions will be demonstrations of weaving moss and making filé, wreaths, jewelry, toys, and other crafts. Additional activities will include the presentation of the annual Creole Peoples awards, a silent auction to benefit the Creole Heritage Center, and the opportunity to view various exhibits and shop at vendor displays. Musical entertainment will be a zydeco concert and dance featuring Katrice LaCour and the LaCour Trio.

     Advance registration fees will be $20.00 per person. On-site registration will be $25.00 per person. Pre-registration entitles the registrant to one complimentary copy of the DVD, “The Spirit of a Culture: Cane River Creoles,” plus your choice of one selected CHC memorabilia item while supplies last. Pre-registration will end on 4 October 2013. Major credit cards are accepted. Checks, payable to Creole Heritage Center, may be mailed to the Creole Heritage Center, NSU Box 5675, Natchitoches, LA 71497. For additional information, e-mail Sheila Richmonds at; phone 318-357-6685; fax 318-357-6689.

     After the Creole celebration event concludes on Friday evening, 11 October, you may want to attend the St. Augustine Church Fair in nearby Melrose community. Tasty food available for sale will include fried fish, gumbo, meat pies, and a turkey dinner. Festivities, which will continue through Sunday, 13 October, will include games like bingo.

     While you are in the area, you may also want to stay for the Natchitoches Fall Pilgrimage Tour of Homes, held on Saturday and Sunday, 12-13 October 2013. Going through some historic Louisiana homes may be a great way to end an educational weekend accentuating the Creole culture.

     If you are interested in the Cherokee Nation, you may want to read the article, “”Park Hill’s Ross Cemetery,” by Lois E. Wilson Albert. It appears on pages 62-81 of the Spring 2013 (vol. XCI, no. 1) issue of Chronicles of Oklahoma. Albert gives a brief background of the tribe’s removal in the 1830s to what is now the Sooner State and of the establishment of the historic graveyard, which has more than 500 marked and unmarked graves. Many of the people interred in the burial ground are descendants of famous chief John Ross, his siblings, or their extended families. Some unrelated persons, such as their neighbors and tenants, are also buried in the cemetery. For several men and women, the author provides biographical sketches, which explain their kinship to others buried there. Accompanying the narrative is a variety of interesting photographs of people, tombstones, buildings, and markers.

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