cover image Cajun Document: Acadiana, 1973–74

Cajun Document: Acadiana, 1973–74

Douglas Baz and Charles H. Traub. Historic New Orleans Collections, $45 (164p) ISBN 978-0-917860-76-8

In this vibrant retrospective, photographers Baz and Traub revisit their photos of day-to-day life in the Cajun areas of Louisiana. Having taken the photos during a six-month period beginning in 1973, the authors explain their fascination with the material: “The more we worked, the more we were drawn to everything Cajun.” Outsiders to the region, New Yorker Baz and Kentuckian Traub (Lunchtime) took photographs that radiated both a respect for and an unending curiosity about a culture that was then not widely known. Images of families, (a mother and two sons fish on a bayou near Morgan city), small mom-and-pop businesses (photos of the town of Mamou show a country store and barbershop), and hometown festivals (among them the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival) showcase a deep sense of community tradition (as in a shot of local musicians performing live at Mamou’s Fred’s Lounge for a Saturday morning radio show). Special attention is given to the geography of the region, with plenty of eerily beautiful images of swamplands. Bayou lovers and photography enthusiasts will be thrilled with this gorgeous celebration of Cajun heritage. (Mar.)