Trivia Tuesday–Isle de Jean Charles and Pointe-au-Chien, Louisiana (#giveaway)


Horse crosses Bayou Pointe-au-Chien in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. Image by © Julie Dermansky/Corbis, used with permission.


In honor of next week’s release of WILD MAN’S CURSE, I wanted to show this amazing image by photographer Julie Dermansky that shows where horses are left to free-graze on the marshlands beside Bayou Point-au-Chien in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. This guy’s crossing from one side to the other.

Did you know that Louisiana has more Native American tribes than any other Southern state? There are four federally recognized “sovereign nations,” as well as 10 tribes recognized by Louisiana and four tribes without official status, according to this article from Folklife in Louisiana.

In the Wilds of the Bayou series (of which Wild Man’s Curse is book one), the heroine, Celestine Savoie, is a part of the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Confederation, a state-recognized confederation of three different tribes. Celestine is descended from the Isle de Jean Charles Band of the Chitimacha. This “island,” also called “the bathtub,” was once four miles wide but due to erosion and repeated flooding—and the federal and state reluctance to extend the levee system far south enough to enclose it—it is now only a few hundred yards wide.

Saltwater intrusion caused by hurricanes and oil drilling have turned most of the trees to stark blackened trunks, yet the people refuse to move. They live close to the land. Some live on “the island,” and others have spread eastward along Bayou Pointe-au-Chien, where this photo was taken. Bayou Point-au-Chien (or Pointe-aux-Chenes) is a major setting in the second Wilds of the Bayou novel, which currently has the working title of LURE OF THE WILD, although I suspect the title will change.

Interested in more about the Chitimacha of Isle de Jean Charles?

Here’s a nice clip from a documentary called “Can’t Stop the Water.”

The movie “Beasts of the Southern Wild” is set there during a big Katrina-like hurricane and is a powerful movie. Here’s the official trailer:


It’s a fascinating movie to watch if you get a chance (and most of the actors are local)! Have you seen the movie? Find anything interesting about this area–were you aware of it before? Leave a comment to be entered for a TBR mystery book or two!

16 thoughts on “Trivia Tuesday–Isle de Jean Charles and Pointe-au-Chien, Louisiana (#giveaway)

    • I watched it on streaming video so I know it’s out there–strange little movie but, for better or worse, you get a look at Southern Terrebonne Parish and Isle de Jean Charles!

  1. I enjoyed the trailer for “Beasts of the Southern Wild”, Thanks. I was not aware of it before, very interesting. Check out Between Dreams and Reality site today for a review of Wild Man’s Curse.

    • Thanks for letting me know about the D&R review! “Beasts of the Southern Wild” is a sad story in a lot of ways. The poverty. The bleakness of the landscape after the flooding. And, of course, the real facts of “The Bathtub,” which was taken out of future plans for the Army Corps of Engineers’ Terrebonne levee system because extending the levee that far south would cost too much.

  2. i’m happy to learn about teh different indian tribes and this picture is simply wonderful thank you for sharing

  3. I’ve seen the movie. I was surprised how differently the people there live compared to what I’m used to.

    • There is so much poverty in that area, and people do live off the water and the land. They eat what they catch or hunt, and yet really live in community. (As opposed to me; I’ve lived in my house almost ten years and only know one of my neighbors in a fairly dense subdivision.)

    • It’s an odd one, blending the bleak reality of the little girl’s life as a “beast” of the Southern Wild (her name is Hushpuppy) with the images of imaginary beasts in her mind. But also shows the resilience of the people there.

  4. I viewed ‘Can’t stop the water’ and will check out ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’. Love the dappled horse picture! Thank you for posting so many different things; things I wouldn’t normally seek out on my own. 🙂

  5. A stunning picture with the horse. Lots of info I was not aware of before thank you.

  6. Haven’t heard of the movie/documentary before, but it tackles an issue that is definitely not confined to the bayous nor America. Thank you so much for sharing!