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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: October 14, 2011

Louisiana Folk Healing Seminar

LAFAYETTE, La. The evolution of Louisiana folk healing practices will be discussed at a seminar entitled, "The Gourd, the Cross, and the Cockroach: Parts and Wholes of Louisiana Folk Healing." This lecture will discuss the cultural and environmental influences on the tradition.

Since colonial contact, cultural syncretism, or combining, has permeated Louisiana healing practices, making it difficult to recognize distinct ethnic traditions. On the other hand, the diverse historical roots of many aspects of folk treatment can be traced. Looking especially at local plant knowledge data, we will consider various continua of practice and experience through time, and show that syncretism is still happening today within Acadiana’s folk healing practices.

What: The public is invited to attend a presentation, “The Gourd, the Cross, and the Cockroach: Parts and Wholes of Louisiana Folk Healing.”

Who: Dr. C. Ray Brassieur, University of Louisiana at Lafayette anthropologist

When: 2p.m. Oct. 18, 2011

Where: U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wetlands Research Center, Lafayette, La.

The event is being held as a component of Experience Atchafalaya Days, which 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. The USGS National Wetlands Research Center conducts various research projects in the Atchafalaya Basin, and participates in Experience Atchafalaya Days annually. Atchafalaya Days runs through October and is sponsored by the Friends of the Atchafalaya and the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, a program of the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism.

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