Louisiana: A Guide to the State

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First Americans

ARCHEOLOGICAL evidence unearthed at mortuary and domiciliary mounds near Marksville by the U. S. National Museum in 1933 indicates that a prehistoric race, culturally superior to the Indians found by the earliest European explorers, inhabited Louisiana in the distant past. These "Marksville People," whom archeologists sometimes associate with the "Hopewell People" of the Ohio Valley, were slender and small of stature. They were agriculturists and lived in semi-subterranean houses in villages frequently enclosed by earth embankments and usually built on bluffs bordering streams. Their ceremonial buildings were apparently erected on rectangular earthworks, similar in shape to the stone pyramids of Central America. The artifacts found at several village sites in Louisiana show that these primitive Americans made use of copper, probably transported from the Great Lakes region, galena from the Ozark Mountains, and shells from the Gulf of Mexico. Their pottery was artistically decorated with birds and geometric figures.

Material from a recently excavated Indian mound in La Salle Parish, near Archie, dates from the early Marksville period. Many skeletons and fragments of pottery were found, but only one vessel was intact. Archeologists have been able to determine the period to which they belong by the designs on the pottery.

Recent evidence of another prehistoric Indian culture, discovered by WPA archeologists near Lake Catherine, seems to antedate the Marksville period. This find, which has been named the "Tchefuncte" because of a similar find near Lake Pontchartrain in the Tchefuncte State Park, includes bits of pottery, arrowheads, and a few human bones. Of especial interest is the fact that the people of the Tchefuncte period were a long-headed race who did not practice the custom of

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Louisiana: A Guide to the State
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • Illustrations xvii
  • Maps xxi
  • General Information xxiii
  • Calendar of Annual Events xxvii
  • Part I Louisiana: Past and Present 1
  • An Introduction to Louisiana 3
  • Natural Setting 7
  • First Americans 29
  • History 37
  • Government 53
  • Agriculture 60
  • Commerce, Industry, and Labor 67
  • Transportation 78
  • Racial Elements 86
  • Folkways 90
  • Social Life and Social Welfare 102
  • Education 116
  • Religion 126
  • Newspapers and Radio 134
  • Sports and Recreation 141
  • Architecture 148
  • Art 161
  • Literature 178
  • Music 190
  • The Theater 203
  • Science 217
  • Cuisine 225
  • Part II Cities and Towns 233
  • Abbeville 235
  • Alexandria--Pineville 239
  • Baton Rouge 250
  • Gretna 268
  • Lafayette 272
  • Lake Charles 281
  • Minden 288
  • Monroe 290
  • Natchitoches 299
  • New Iberia 312
  • New Orleans 316
  • Opelousas 345
  • Ruston 350
  • St. Martinville 353
  • Shreveport 360
  • Winnfield 377
  • Part III Tours 381
  • Tour 1 383
  • Tour 1a 411
  • Tour 1b 414
  • Tour 1c 420
  • Tour 1d 423
  • Tour 1e 425
  • Tour 1f 428
  • Tour 2 431
  • Tour 2a 434
  • Tour 2b 438
  • Tour 2c 440
  • Tour 3 444
  • Tour 3a 455
  • Tour 4 457
  • Tour 5 465
  • Tour 6 474
  • Tour 7 478
  • Tour 8 488
  • Tour 8a 498
  • Tour 9 503
  • Tour 10 508
  • Tour 10a 521
  • Tour 10b 523
  • Tour 10c 541
  • Tour 11 544
  • Tour 11 A 569
  • Tour 11b 573
  • Tour 11c 579
  • Tour 11d 582
  • Tour 11e 586
  • Tour 12 589
  • Tour 13 597
  • Tour 14 610
  • Tour 15 612
  • Tour 15a 627
  • Tour 15b 629
  • Tour 16 631
  • Tour 17 635
  • Tour 17 A 650
  • Tour 17b 654
  • Tour 18 656
  • Tour 18 A 669
  • Tour 19 672
  • Part IV Appendices 683
  • Glossary 685
  • Chronology 693
  • Bilbliography 704
  • Population Figures, 1940 Census 717
  • Map of Louisiana in Five Sections 721
  • Index 735
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