Celebration of La Purisima by Nicaraguans in Southeast Louisiana Records, 2007

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2007 (Date created)
Creator and/or Contributor
Louisiana Folklife Program (creator), Denese Neu (creator)
Scope and Content Note

Collection documents a study of the Nicaraguan celebration of La Purisima, a feast day for the Virgin Mary. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish in 2007 and span 6 cassette tapes. Additional materials include a traditional song book, correspondence between researcher Denese Neu and Maida Owens, and a map of the Nicaraguan population across Louisiana. 73 digital photographs from a celebration at St. Jerome’s Church, December 7, 2007 are also included. Digital copies of interviews are available.

The following is a list of the recordings included in this sub-series in order of tape number:
1782. A. & M. Narvaez with E. & J. Gutierrez and J. Arrechavaio Tape 1, 12/03/2007
1783. A. & M. Narvaez with E. & J. Gutierrez and J. Arrechavaio Tape 2, 12/03/2007
1784. A. & M. Narvaez with E. & J. Gutierrez and J. Arrechavaio Tape 3, 12/03/2007
1785. Reverend Alberto Bermudez, 12/07/2007
1786. Berta Lanzaz & Mina Lanzaz Tape 1, 12/09/2007
1787. Berta Lanzaz & Mina Lanzaz Tape 2, 12/09/2007

Administrative/Biographical History Element

"Staying true to the traditional custom, many Nicaraguan immigrants continue to set up private altars in their homes for their family, friends, and neighbors. These private events are supported and attended, but the dispersion of the community does not make it easy for Nicaraguans to be highly cohesive and to travel to the private altars. In Louisiana, La Griteria has not lost its importance but it cannot be the large outdoor public celebration it is in Nicaragua. The organizers at St. Jerome Catholic Church in Kenner state that La Purisima is 'one of the most important traditions we want and need to keep.' To do so, they have adapted La Purisima and La Griteria to serve the Nicaraguan community. Using the celebration to bring Nicaraguans together, they also honor their heritage. Without an organized La Purisima and La Griteria, many Nicaraguans would have very little contact with others from their native country and a place to enjoy the cultural traditions. The organizers explain that while they are invited to visit private altars, they began organizing a public event 16 years ago. About 15 people organize and fund the celebration."

Neu, Denese. 1999-2012. “The Story of La Purisima and La Griteria: A Unique Nicaraguan Sacred Tradition Adapted to Louisiana.” Louisiana Folklife Program.

System of Arrangement

Materials may be found in the following series within the Louisana Folklife Program Project Files:

  • XXXV. New Populations - Subseries 1. Celebration of La Purisima by Nicaraguans in Southeast La.

General Note

Collection is available for review at LSU Libraries Special Collections, Hill Memorial Library, Baton Rouge, La.

1 (folder)
6 (cassette tapes)
3.64 (GB)
English (Languages)
Spanish (Languages)
Other Subject Headings
Hispanic Americans--Louisiana. (Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH))
Hispanic Americans--Louisiana--Music. (Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH))
Mary, Blessed Virgin, Saint—Feasts—Louisiana. (Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH))
Nicaraguans—Louisiana—Social life and customs. (Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH))
Geographic Coverage
Jefferson Parish (Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names)
New Orleans (Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names)
Preferred Citation
Louisiana Folklife Program Project Files, Mss. 4730, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Related Entities:
Louisiana Folklife Program (creator)
Denese Neu (creator)