Swapping Stories: Folktales from Louisiana - About the Video

This documentary introduces a living tradition of storytellers, capturing the flavor and allure of the dynamic interplay of folklore with contemporary life and community in Louisiana.

-Malcolm Collier, College of Ethnic Studies, San Francisco State University

A co-production with LPB, filmmaker Pat Mire ("Dirty Rice") wrote, produced and directed the documentary which was co-produced by Maida Owens, the director of the Louisiana Folklife Program in the Louisiana Division of the Arts. Carl Lindahl, Professor of English at the University of Houston, served as principal scholar on the project.

In culturally diverse Louisiana, the traditional art of storytelling is alive and well as a means of communicating values and culture to family, friends and the community. This special brings together some of the best storytellers in Louisiana including comedians A. J. Smith and Dave Petitjohn, Cajun storyteller Enola Mathews, and the late Bel Abbey and Colonel Ike Hamilton.

Their tales range from a Creole French version of the story of Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby to Bertney Langley's myth about how bats got their wings. It also features Loulan and Glen Pitre regaling listeners with the legend of the oyster-shucking monster called Loup Garou who came out of the Gulf every night.

The secret of storytelling is to make the audience feel at home regardless of where they are. So sit down in your easy chair and get ready to listen to a few whoppers!

Swapping Stories - Online Resources