The convoluted logic of creolization the New Orleans way
Komins, B. J.
University of North Carolina Press
99 - 122
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1. In an earlier essay ("Succulent Tomatoes"), I discuss the derisive cultural, racial, and historical definitions of New Orleans' "original" settlers, from the political contests of the late nineteenth century to the parodic sensibilities of today. Like other phenomena on this "inland island," the meanings of Creole have developed in ways that respond to conflict and isolation. 2. I would like to thank Professor Michael Picone of the University of Alabama for his valuable comments and suggestions, particularly concerning New Orleans' meandering classifications and labels. 3. Professor Roach's book elegantly describes the various products and consequences of Creole "reciprocal acculturation" from the city's burial code through the political events and fanfare of carnival. Through both conversations and his text, Roach's provocative New Orleans work informs many of my ideas in this essay. 4. "Arrival at New Orleans. Forest of ships. Mississippi three-hundred feet deep. External appearance of the city. Beautiful houses. Huts. Muddy streets without pavements. Spanish architecture: flat roofs; English: bricks, small doors; French: massive portes cocheres. Population also mixed. Faces with every nuance of color. Language French, English, Spanish, Creole. General French look, however posters and commercial announcements mostly in English" (Translation mine). 5. "The evening at the theater . . . Strange sight presented in the auditorium: first loge, white; second, gray. Women of color, very pretty . . . Third loge black" (Translation mine). 6. For examples of these "ethnic works," see Vujnovich, Shofner and Ellsworth, and Reinecke. 7. I received Mrs. Stern's unpublished account of the German experience in New Orleans from Professor Richard Beavers of the University of New Orleans. 8. 8 This report is cited in John Duffy's Sword of Pestilence: The New Orleans Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1853. 9. Alan Lomax's Mister Jelly Roll consists of oral history, interviews, and second-hand reporting; the comments that I cite come from Jelly Roll's initial interview with Lomax at the Library of Congress. 10. There are several recorded versions of "Hyena Stomp" now available on compact disk, from early jazz anthologies to Jelly Roll Morton collections. My comments follow the 1992 redigitized recording referenced in the Works Cited.