Rougarou Fest Community Quilt Raises Awareness About Coastal Land Loss

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The Rougarou Fest is proud to unveil the community quilt that was created at the 2019 Rougarou Fest on Tuesday, July 13, 2021, at the Bayou Terrebonne Waterlife Museum.  The quilt was scheduled to be unveiled in 2020, but that celebration was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  With the availability of the vaccine, organizers now feel it is safe enough to move forward with the event while maintaining CDC guidelines.
 
Festival volunteers worked throughout 2019 to develop a quilt that would depict and raise awareness about coastal land loss.  Photographs were taken of large oak trees that died from salt water intrusion in each of the five bayou communities of Terrebonne Parish.  The silhouettes of these dead trees were then transferred onto fabric as the first step in creating this quilt.
 
A quilting booth was set up at the 2019 Rougarou Fest where festivalgoers could assist with creating the design for each oak tree that represented the bayou communities by placing fabric on the trunk of the tree of their choice.  They could also design their own representation of bayou life by cutting out a plant or animal found in our parish that was then incorporated into the border of the quilt.  Volunteers then took the work created at the festival and incorporated them into one large quilt with the names of the bayou communities listed near the tree representing that community.
 
The Rougarou Fest and the South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center will host a reception on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 at 1pm at the Bayou Terrebonne Waterlife Museum that will be open to the general public to view the Rougarou Fest Community Quilt.  The quilt will then go on permanent display at the Waterlife Museum for all visitors to view.
 
“The Rougarou Fest quilt is a fine example of arts and tradition helping to bring attention to Louisiana’s land loss and our sense of place. I’m glad that the Bayou Culture Collaborative was able to help make this happen.”  Maida Owens, Folklife Program Director, Louisiana Division of the Arts.
 
The Rougarou Fest would like to acknowledge the National Endowment for the Arts, Louisiana Division of the Arts, the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, and the Louisiana Folklore Society for their support in bringing this project to fruition.