Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Louisiana Creole Altars

What do "lucky" fava beans, a woven magnolia leaf, and Nicaraguan "angels" have in common? All are parts of ritual traditions among different ethnic groups in Louisiana. Ritual traditions are among the richest of folk traditions, reflecting what is most valued and important in a culture. They may be religious or secular, solemn or festive, or a combination of all of these. But all transform ordinary places and time into something extraordinary, if only for a few hours.
Creating special sacred places in the home for worship and prayer is a common folk religious practice, especially in traditional Catholic communities. Home altars are a common sight in primarily Catholic French Louisiana, where a corner of a living room or bedroom is transformed into a small altar with a crucifix, holy cards, pictures or statues of saints and other decorations. - Carolyn Ware


Kitty said...

People in rural Indiana often mark the sites of loved ones' accidents with memorial objects. Sometimes these are temporary shrines with flowers and candles, other times formal cross markers. I have seen jerseys, jersey-shaped markers with basketball hoops attached, and there is even one nearby which features the boy's name, date of death and a permanent bench. Sometimes I see a man stop, get off his motorcycle and sit on the shrine.

Anonymous said...

My family are Louisiana Creoles , we all have altars in our homes .