Where is Acadiana?
|Acadiana is the name
given to the traditional twenty-two parish Cajun homeland,
which in 1971 the Louisiana state legislature officially
recognized for its unique Cajun and Acadian heritage (per
House Concurrent Resolution No. 496). Despite the
frequent association of Cajuns with swamplands, Acadiana
actually consists mainly of prairies, marshes, and wooded
river (or bayou) lands. The term Acadiana was
coined by accident around 1963, when KATC-TV 3 in Lafayette,
owned by the Acadian Television Corporation, received an
invoice bearing a typographical error: someone had mistakenly
added the letter "a" to the end of Acadian, forming
Acadiana. Noting the error, the station’s
manager found the new word catchy (particularly as it seemed
to combine the words Acadian and
Louisiana). KATC began using the new word to
describe the region covered by its broadcast signal. The
word soon took on a life of its own, and came to describe most
of south Louisiana. As evidence of its popularity, a
survey of a recent phone directory covering forty-seven
communities in south-central Acadiana shows that over two
hundred fifty businesses use the word in their titles.
Acadiana often is mistakenly applied only to Lafayette
Parish and several neighboring parishes, usually Acadia,
Iberia, St. Landry, St. Martin, and Vermilion parishes, and
sometimes also Evangeline and St. Mary; this eight-parish
area, however, is actually the "Cajun Heartland, USA"
district, which makes up only about a third of the entire
Sources: Ancelet et al., Cajun
Country; Dormon, People Called Cajuns; Dunning,
"‘Cajun Heartland, USA’"; "Steno's Error," Acadiana
1. Calcasieu, 2. Cameron, 3. Jefferson
Davis, 4. Evangeline, 5. Acadia, 6. Vermilion, 7. Avoyelles, 8. St.
9. Lafayette, 10. Pointe Coupee, 11. St. Martin, 12.
Iberia, 13. St. Mary, 14. W. Baton Rouge, 15. Iberville,
Assumption, 17. Acension, 18. St. James, 19. Lafourche, 20.
Terrebonne, 21. St. John the Baptist, 22. St.
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