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Press Release

U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey
National Wetlands Research Center
700 Cajundome Blvd.
Lafayette, LA 70506

Contact: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Phone: 337-266-8655
Fax: 337-266-8541
For Release: September 30, 2010

Seminar on Traditional Plant Knowledge to be held at the USGS National Wetlands Research Center

LAFAYETTE, La. —The public is invited to attend a presentation, "Traditional Plant Knowledge along the Bayou Teche," by University of Louisiana at Lafayette anthropologist Dr. C. Ray Brassieur at the U.S. Geological Survey's National Wetlands Research Center on October 5, 2010, at 2:00 p.m. The event is being held as a component of Experience Atchafalaya Days.

Until fairly recently, deep knowledge of plants and their uses characterized traditional culture in south Louisiana. This illustrated presentation focuses on traditional plant knowledge shared by Creoles of Color living along the Bayou Teche during the mid-20th century. It draws from a revisit of fieldwork conducted by Charles J. Bienvenu, in St. Martin Parish, in 1932. Comparative ethnohistorical and ethnographic data indicates that most of this plant knowledge originally derived from Native Americans. How much of this knowledge remains? Brassieur's presentation will explore this area.

Experience Atchafalaya Days, sponsored by the Friends of the Atchafalaya and the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area in the Louisiana Office of Tourism, runs the month of October and is designed to educate people about recreational opportunities and the natural and cultural resources of the 14 parish area that comprises the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area.

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