The analogy of linguistic creolization to cultural creolization is examined with reference to the evolution, form, style, and performance of zydeco music and related community aesthetic expressions among rural African-French Louisiana Creoles. The expressive culture demonstrates African, European, and Native sources both conserved and transformed in this New World setting where Creole is a local group identity. The processes observed in this particular creole culture are extended and appli to other aspects offolk and vernacular culture in America and world-wide-with the implication that cultural creolization is the central process in the maintenance and evolution of culture and cultures globally. Originally presented as a keynote address framed and punctuated by musical examples, this essay is offered in a manner that attempts to maintain its oral character. Discussion of the musical examples is augmented with selections on the web at www.americanroutes.org under the heading "Deep Routes."

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