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!