St. Landry culture celebrates crops, culture, cuisine

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St. Landry Parish like most Acadiana parishes has several festivals celebrating crops, culture and cuisine. It is also home to some long standing traditions like healers or traiteurs.

One person who knows quite a bit about the history of St. Landry Parish is the daughter of a sharecropper Rebecca Henry. Henry is the director of the Creole Heritage Museum and Folklife Center. She's made it her life's mission to preserve and share her Creole heritage.

Henry says from the Native Americans, to the French, Spanish, Africans and all that make up the Creole heritage. It is fair to say Opelousas is quite unique that includes family names, traditions and cuisine that are still enjoyed today.

One tradition I grew up knowing about is the practice of traiteurs or healers who relied on their faith and healing hands to cure a wide range of ailments many still practice today.

From healing of the body to the spirit the nearly 70 year old Yamiblee Festival was celebrated by both whites and blacks during segregated soiree's and parades. But over the years, the community united to continue honoring it's biggest cash crop the almighty yam.

And although the yam industry has seen a recent decline there are many here who still support local farmers and are working to revive this once thriving industry.

That includes those behind the Yamiblee Festival who are working to bring back the glory days. The festival is typically held in October.

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