The French settled in the Acadia region of Canada in the mid 16th century, long before the English gained control in 1710.
From around 1764, following the British victory in the seven year war (1756 - 1763) the French settlers were expelled from Acadia and started to colonize parts of Louisiana. By the middle of the 18th century, they had become a major force in shaping the future of the state, yet they retained their French culture and language. Over the years, the name Acadian became shortened to Cajun.
Early communities mainly worked on the land, tending their own small farms. A very small percentage owned plantations with slaves.
At the turn of the 20th century, the term Cajun, was regarded as derogatorily slang, but throughout the 1900s the Acadian decedents delved into their rich heritage and placed themselves firmly on the Louisiana map. In 1980 the US government officially recognized Cajuns as a federally protected minority.
Although Cajun music has a very distinctive style, it can be confused and often mixed with Zydeco.
Cajun food is certainly in a class of its own, with a unique style and flavors.