The New Acadia Project: Public Archaeology and Mythistory in Acadiana
Author(s): Mark Rees
The Acadian exiles who arrived in Louisiana in 1765 were afflicted with epidemic disease. The founders of Nouvelle Acadie were buried at their homesteads along the Teche Ridge in the vicinity of present-day Loreauville. Yet these places and graves remain unmarked in collective memory, historical consciousness, and landscape. Creation of a Cajun homeland called Acadiana did not proceed directly from diaspora and colonization, but was a protracted result of economic processes, the politics of identity, revitalization, and mythic representations of the past. A public archaeology in the homeland of the Cajuns must interrogate mythistory with questions of authenticity and traverse a constructed landscape with the goals of heritage conservation and cultural resource management planning. The New Acadia Project is a multidisciplinary and collaborative effort to systematically locate, identify, and investigate these initial settlements. Public outreach and crowdsourcing comprise crucial sources of support within the cultural economy of Acadiana.
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The New Acadia Project: Public Archaeology and Mythistory in Acadiana. Mark Rees. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437041)