Residence: Los Angeles, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: 3/23/19
Primary Language: English
I asked the informant for any traditions or customs he had participated in. Though not Cajun himself, the informant has a residence in New Orleans and has participated in the culture for many years.
Mary and I got married at a crawfish boil in rural Louisiana – in Eunice – in the backyard of a family and, uh, some leading cajun musicians and cultural crusaders and, uh, one of the traditions for at a wedding there — and probably in other cultures as well — is, uh… people will come up to the bride and just pin money to, uh, to her veil and people were doing that all over and so, y’know, we’re, y’know, everywhere we went at this party people were just doing that and uh, and then we also learned that people on their birthdays, down around there, people will, they’ll have money pinned to their shirts… people will just come up and put more on the safety pin. You’ll see somebody walking around at some point with money pinned to their shirt and you’ll turn and say “happy birthday!”
The tradition of pinning money on a bride’s veil, as well as pinning money on someone’s clothes when it is their birthday, is common in Cajun communities, though its origins are difficult to trace; there are accounts of similar practices in Europe and Africa. Another part of the custom which the informant may not have experienced is that the bride and groom will dance when someone pins money on the veil.