Nathan Rabalais’ Folklore Figures of French and Creole Louisiana stands as one of the most extensive comparative studies for the region, touching on a wide range of assorted folkloric expressions. Each chapter focuses on a suite of related folklore figures and draws upon not only the regional archival information, but also international sources, to “place South Louisiana in a larger francophone context in order to better understand how specific tales or morals differ from their counterparts elsewhere” (p. 4). Discussions of regional ethnic identities could, and do, fill volumes of academic work, and the author largely sidesteps much of this by anchoring his work on linguistic usage of French and Louisiana Creole, a move that aligns with the nature of the source archival information.

Rabalais demonstrates how both the syncretic cultural diversity of Louisiana and particular historical experiences, especially immigrations, produced and altered the regional folklore assemblage. He does this...

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