A couple of sleepless nights ago while surfing on line I came upon the wonderful resource site: Folkstreams.net and watched a great film about Gandy Dancers, the old crews who worked straightening railroad tracks and using songs to coordinate their work.
This morning I returned to the site and watched a film about the Isleños of St. Bernard Parish, Louisisana. The Isleños, from the Canary Islands, settled in St. Bernard, to the southeast of New Orleans in the 1770s. The reason I wanted to watch this video is that I am very familiar with this community. I spent two years running a crewboat in the Kerr-McGee oil field in Breton Sound and our headquarters were located in Hopedale at the very end of the St. Bernard Highway as it ends in the swamp at the edge of nowhere. To get to Hopedale you drive through the Isleño communities of Violet, Poydras and Yscloskey (pronounced Why skloski). A lot of the old traditions are carried on. You’d see family members in the cemeteries washing the graves of their departed prior to All Saints Day and adorning them with flowers.
The following is the trailer for the full 23-minute long movie…
In the full film you’ll see great shots of the magnificent Lafitte Skiffs with their beautiful sheerlines. One of the prettiest of all boats I know. I hope you’ll check out the full film at: