Cajuns originally came from Nova Scotia. They were of a different sort, from the French conviccts who were coerced into coming to Louisiana in the first third of the 18th century. Such people had neither character, the inclination, nor the knowledge that it took to endure in such a brutal situation. The Cajuns did. And they prevailed. For more than 200 years the cajun culture has preserved its ethnic identity. Most of the Acadians were settled in what it is now southwestern Louisiana and they lived to themselves. Being relatively cut off from the Creole French-speaking population of New Orleans, their French came to differ a bit fromthe mother tongue, enough to be called a dialect. Even within the dialect there are differences according to the localities.
Some colorful loan words have been picked up from the Indian and African languages.
"Cajun" is, of course, a corruption of "Acadian", and this was provided by the Cajun himself. Many of the earliest Cajun houses have been destoryed by fire. But with the renewed sense of national identity that seems apparent in our country and with a particularly quickened sense of the Cajun's unique culture, some of the homes are being preserved by historical societies so that future generations will not think they were self-created. A sense of continuity, of tradition.