|The Heart of Acadiana (Cajun French: L’Acadiane), is the official name given to the French Louisiana region that is home to a large Francophone population. Of the 64 parishes that make up Louisiana, 22 named parishes and other parishes of similar cultural environment make up the intrastate region.|
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People of Acadiana
For more details on this topic, see Cajun.
Cajuns are the descendants of 18th-century Acadian exiles from what are now Canada’s Maritime Provinces, expelled by the British and New Englanders during the French and Indian War. They prevail among the region’s visible cultures, but not everyone who lives in Acadiana is culturally Acadian or speaks Cajun French, nor is everybody who is culturally Acadian or “Cajun” descended from the Acadian refugees.
German settlers found their way to Acadiana as early as 1721, preceding the Acadians. Since the late 20th century, political refugees from southeast Asia (Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia, among others) have brought their families, cultures, and languages to the area, and have contributed significantly to its fishing industry.
Acadiana is home to several Native American tribes, including among others the Chitimacha, Houma, Tunica-Biloxi, Attakapas, and Coushatta. The region also boasts a large population of Creoles, who in Louisiana can be black, white, or mixed-race persons (Creole in its broadest sense meaning “Native to Louisiana”). Acadiana also is home to other ethnic groups, including Anglo-Americans, who came into the region in increasing numbers beginning notably with the Louisiana Purchase of 1803.