History on hand at Attakpas Trade Day

Lester Fuselier, left, and Bill Parrie, work a stretch of cowhide across the seat of a wooden chair at the Attakapas Trade Day & Craft Fair on Saturday afternoon. The two Eunice residents use traditional methods to make furniture and leather goods. 

Edward Chretien Jr. did not know about his own Atakapa-Ishak Nation heritage growing up. It wasn’t until later, as an adult, that he began to learn about it.

“It was a shame to speak of that history when I was young,” he said Saturday morning, manning a booth of tribal artifacts at the Attakapas Trade Day & Craft Fair, held at the Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site in St. Martinville. “I went to schools that were all African American. I knew I looked different, but my parents and my grandparents didn’t want to talk about it,” he said.