The Challenges of Reclaiming Filipino Louisianas Centuries-Old History

Members of what is perhaps the oldest Asian community in the United States are committed to preservingand sharingtheir story.


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Indeed, the history of Louisianas Filipino community has been largely written by outsiderswhen it has been written about at all. In a state where Acadian and West African heritage sites and communities are celebrated, St. Malo and other early Filipino villages are rarely mentioned, though they are among Louisianas oldest.


Gonzales, a fourth-generation Louisiana Filipino, is among a handful of people in the community uncovering and reclaiming their history. Like navigating the bayou, it is not an easy course. Separating fact from myth remains a challenge, and much of the evidence has been lost. St. Malo, for example, was destroyed by the New Orleans Hurricane of 1915. In 2019, community members erected a marker 30 miles east of New Orleans, but the exact location of the village, like its date of origin, remains a mystery. Retrieving the early history of a community that settled in these swamps more than two centuries ago, and left no written record, requires both creativity and caution.



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https://www.atlasobscura.com/article...pino-louisiana