Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Elton, Louisiana: On My Way to the Powwow: A First Look at a Cultural Intersection

Not the usual mural in Acadiana. Elton, Louisiana, showing its Indian heritage. The hills must be an example of artistic license. June 2015.

A cultural informant told me about Elton.

A jailhouse, a train, a white picket fence, and a red something that holds something. Elton, Louisiana. June 2015.

Elton is a village on 190 between Eunice and Kinder. Which may not help most people much in visualizing its location. So let's say it's about two hours west of Baton Rouge. And it's east of ........well, hell, you'd have to go a really long way west to make it east of something most of us would recognize. So let's come at it from another direction - it's about an hour northwest of Lafayette.

Elton, Louisiana. June 2015.

Population about 1200.

Elton, Louisiana. June 2015.

My cultural informant told me that, at one time, Elton was a tiny confluence of Indian, Creole, and Cajun tribes. Even today, he said, you might find it difficult to completely follow a conversation amongst old-timey locals because of the rich, intermingled dialects. 

Elton, Louisiana. June 2015.

So when I decided to go to the Coushatta Powwow, it was a happy surprise to see that Elton was on my way there. I'd already stopped to visit the Savoy Music Jam and gawk at roseate spoonbills. The wet drizzle kept me in my car, but I saw enough to make me want to go back for a drier look-see in the future.

A train blew through while I pondered the meaning of the jailhouse and the red storage structure in the city park. Surrounded by a white picket fence.

Very nice.

Here is a bit of history on the Coushatta Tribe, which has a base on the edge of Elton. There are a couple of stories at this website, but for me, anyway, the recordings were too choppy to listen to. Don't know if the issue is on my end or the server end. There is more historical information about the Coushattas at KnowLA (Encyclopedia of Louisiana).


Anonymous said...

as someone from elton, you couldn't see the hell it actually is

Anonymous said...

as someone from elton, you caught the passersby view. Elton is a depraved little sack of hell.

Anonymous said...

also i'm really glad you got that picture of the old gunshop. That mural was painted by a man name Carol Pete, who passed away a few years ago. He was a good man and it makes me happy to see the painting survived even after it's been painted over.

Anonymous said...

I was raised in Elton and graduated from there in 1959. My name is David Hollier. It’s sad to see that the place where I spent my childhood is so depleted. A lot of my classmates still live around Elton. I say hello to Ronnie Fuselier. My email if someone wants to contact me is I would love to hear from you