Although no longer daily activities for the descendants of the Acadian settlers of Southwest Louisiana, the tradition of growing natural brown cotton, hand spinning and weaving is still alive two hundred and fifty years later. The Acadian people, commonly known as Cajuns, are enormously proud of their culture and heritage and equally devoted to its preservation. The music and cuisine are most well known but the weaving tradition also embodies the heart and soul of this community.
For more than two centuries homespun cotton thread was regularly woven into bedding and clothing on large two harness floor looms throughout Acadiana. By the early 20th century, commercially woven fabric had become a staple and the labor-intensive spinning and weaving a part of the past. The single exception was traditional blankets woven as dowry for Cajun brides. These blankets are referred to as l’amour de maman, a mother’s love.
The serendipitous discovery of an old Cajun blanket in a flea market fueled the authors’ curiosity and subsequent research. A combined love of textiles and film making, the visual and textural quality of the blankets, plus the rich human story led to the making of this film. With the assistance of Ms. Elaine Bourque, personal memories and photographs of beautiful Cajun blankets and the mothers who made them were also captured. It is her devotion to the craft and desire to honor these women that inspired this project. Learn More about this project.
Acadian Brown Cotton—A Cajun Love Story
Producer Director Sharon Gordon Donnan
37 minutes, United States
Selected for Premiere Screening Cinema on the Bayou 2015
Selected by ClothRoads Film Festival, 2017