“Little by little, the bird makes its nest.” – Old Haitian Creole Proverb
Vibrant, up-tempo vocals and exquisitely soulful harmonies paired with an accordion-heavy and drum-tastic blend of folksy and bluesy instrumentals that one cannot help but tap one's foot to. Rich and creamy, ultra-seasoned bisques. Flavorful, aromatic gumbos packed with tomatoes, smoked sausages, chicken, and shellfish. A heavenly concoction of stewed rice and an assortment of meats and seafood, enlivened with tomatoes, celery, onions, and peppers, otherwise known as “red jambalaya.” Striking paintings featuring bright pops of color and featureless silhouettes of men, women, and children with varying shades of brown skin. These are often the first sounds, scents, tastes, and visuals evoked when the word “Creole” is brought up in a conversation.
Contrary to popular belief, the term “Creole” is not restricted to the Louisiana Creole, nor the Creoles of color, which collectively refers to the overall ethnic group and different local Creole cultures that blossomed across the Spanish and French colonies in Louisiana, Mississippi, and northwestern Florida. Today, the term is much more complex and may be applied to any of the various Creole cultures around the globe. The word may also be used to describe any language that has spawned from a mixture of languages, or specifically the associated, but distinct tongues developed within Creole communities, as well as the speakers of these languages themselves.