Kaina Boyd, Librarian
LaFourche Parish Public Library, Raceland Branch
Recognizing the importance of youth connection to their local history in southern Louisiana and the importance of storytelling in Cajun culture, Kaina Boyd applied for an EJK Mini-Grant to share southern Louisiana history through Cajun folktales!
The library held a series of four workshops for youth ages 5-15 and their families to share Louisiana legends and folktales: The Rougarou, The Fifolet, The Great Fish with the Pot to Cook It and Jean de l’Ours. Adult volunteers and local artists presented one of the folktales at each session then provided youth with materials including felt, paint, LEDs, and conductive tape, to recreate or reinterpret a part of the story.
For The Rougarou workshop, youth worked on separate panels that would each tell a portion of the story. Participants presented the legend at a Storytelling Night for the community. For The Fifolet, The Great Fish and the Pot to Cook It and the Jean de l’Our workshops, participants’ creative works illustrated parts of the stories, themes or morals that resonated with them.
Throughout the workshops, Ms. Boyd and the volunteers placed special attention on giving youth the freedom to express the stories in a way that was meaningful to them. “Adult volunteers offered advice and assistance when required, but we allowed the students to tell their stories how they wanted to.”
Ms Boyd offered a final workshop where students had the opportunity to create their own stories inspired by the legends presented in the workshops. Their stories included: Captain Claus and the Elves, I Broke the Internet, The House of Karma and Morals.
See their creative works here!