Louisiana Department of Natural Resources

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Atchafalaya Basin Program

Livin’ and Playin’ in the Basin

Sportsman's Talk the Talk
Basin Geography

A full color map of the basin is now available for purchase. Contact the Louisiana Geological Survey at or call 225.578.8590, or call the DNR Atchafalaya Basin Program Office at 225.342.6437.

This superb-quality, satellite imagery, full color map features roads, boat landings, levees, streams, and more...

Folded map = $9.00 and Tubed map = $12.00

Basin Books

Inherit the Atchafalaya,      by Greg Guirand and C. Ray BrassieurDNR and the Center for Louisiana Studies-ULL have collaborated on publishing a book about life in the basin featuring authors, Greg Guirard and C. Ray Brassieur - Inherit the Atchafalaya, 2007


Other reading

Abbey, Gail D. Life in the Atchafalaya Swamp. Lafayette, La.: Lafayette Natural History Museum, 1979.

Barry, John M. Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America.  New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997.

Bergeron, Maida Owens.  “Language Maintenance and Shift in a Bayou Community: Four Mile Bayou, near Lake Verret.”  M.A. thesis, Louisiana State University, 1978.

Brassieur, C. Ray.  “The Atchafalaya Basin” in Mississippi Delta Ethnographic Overview, edited by Nicholas R. Spitzer.  New Orleans: Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, 1979.

_____. “Bateau Fait à la Main: Public Boat Building and Waterborne Tourism in Louisiana.” Practicing Anthropology 27:4 (Fall 2005).

_____. “Louisiana Boatbuilding: An Unfathomed Fortune” in 1989 Louisiana Folklife Festival Program.  Baton Rouge: Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism.

Case, Gladys C.  The Bayou Chene Story: A History of the Atchafalaya Basin and Its People.  Detroit: Harlo Press, 1973.

Comeaux, Malcolm. Atchafalaya Swamp Life: Settlement and Folk Occupations.  Baton Rouge: School of Geoscience, Louisiana State University, 1972.

_____. “Louisiana’s Acadians: The Environmental Impact,” in The Cajuns: Essays on Their History and Culture, edited by Glenn R. Conrad.  Lafayette: Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana, 1978.

Conrad, Glenn R. and Carl A. Brasseaux. Crevasse! The 1927 Flood in Acadiana.  Lafayette: Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana, 1994.

Delcambre, Kenneth P. Lords of the Basin: History of the Lost Village . . . Atchafalaya, Louisiana.  Henderson, La.: Kenneth P. Delcambre, 1988.

Edwards, Jay D. Louisiana’s Remarkable French Vernacular Architecture. The Fred B. Kniffen Cultural Resources Laboratory Monograph Series.  Baton Rouge: Geoscience Publications, 1988.

Esman, Marjorie R. Henderson, Louisiana: Cultural Adaptation in a Cajun Community.  New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1985.

Gatschet, Albert S. “Chitimacha” Bulletin of the Bureau of American Ethnology 30:1 (1907).

_____. “The Shetimasha Indians of St. Mary’s Parish, Southern Louisiana.” Transactions of the Anthropological Society of Washington 2 (1882): 148-158.

Gibson, Jon L. Archaeological Survey of the Lower Atchafalaya Region, South Central Louisiana, Report No. 5.  Lafayette: Center for Archaeological Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana, 1978.

Goodwin, R. Christopher, Jill-Karen Yakubik, Galloway W. Shelby, Kenneth R. Jones, Debra Stayner, and Janice Cooper.   An Archaeological and Sites Inventory of Bayou Teche between Franklin and Jeanerette, Louisiana.  Baton Rouge: Division of Archaeology, Louisiana State Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism.

Guirard, Greg.  Atchafalaya Autumn.  St. Martinville, La., 1995.

_____. Cajun Families of the Atchafalaya /Les familles ‘cadien de l’Atchafalaya.  St. Martinville, La., 1989; revised and expanded, 1999.

_____. The Land of Dead Giants / La royaume des géants morts. St. Martinville, La., 1991; English and French edition, 2001).

_____. Seasons of Light in the Atchafalaya Basin. St. Martinville, La., 1983.

Hoover, Herbert.  The Chitimacha People.  Phoenix, Az.: Indian Tribal Series, 1975.

King, Peggy Elaine. “The Effects of Displacement on Levee Dwellers, Atchafalaya Basin, La.”  M.A. thesis, Louisiana State University, 1977.

Kniffen, Fred B. “The Indian Mounds of Iberville Parish” in Reports on the Geology of Iberville and Ascension Parishes (Louisiana Geological Survey, Bulletin No. 13, 1938).

Kniffen, Fred B. and Malcolm Comeaux.  “The Spanish Moss Industry of Louisiana,” Melanges 12.  Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University School of Geoscience, 1979.

Kniffen, Fred B, Hiram F. Gregory, and George A. Stokes. The Historic Indian Tribes of Louisiana from 1542 to the Present.  Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1987.

Knipmeyer, William B. A Culturo-geographic Analysis of the Bayou Settlements of Southeastern Louisiana. (Baton Rouge, La.: US Office of Naval Research, 1962).

_____. “Folk Boats of Eastern French Louisiana” in American Folklife, edited by Don Yoder.  Austin: University of Texas, 1976.

Lockwood, C. C.  Atchafalaya: America’s Largest River Basin Swamp.  Baton Rouge: Beauregard Press, 1981.

Mancil, Ervin. “An Historical Geography of Industrial Cypress Lumbering in Louisiana.”  Ph.D. dissertation, Louisiana State University, 1972.

McFee, John. “The Control of Nature: Atchafalaya.” The New Yorker 63 (February 23, 1987).

_____. The Control of Nature.  New York: Farrar,Straus & Giroux, 1989.

Norgress, Rachael E.  “History of the Cypress Industry in Louisiana.” Louisiana Historical Quarterly 30 (1947): 979-1059.

Rees, Mark A. “Plaquemine Mounds of the Western Atchafalaya Basin,” in Plaquemine Archaeology, edited by Mark A. Rees and Patrick C. Livingood. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2007.

Reuss, Martin. Designing the Bayous: The Control of Water in the Atchafalaya Basin, 1800-1995.  College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2004.

Spitzer, Nicholas R. “Black Creoles of Louisiana” in Encyclopedia of World Cultures, Volume I, North America, edited by Timothy J. O’Leary and David Levinson.  Boston: G.K. Hall & Co.  1991.

Spitzer, Nicholas R., ed. Louisiana Folklife: A Guide to the State.  Baton Rouge, Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism, 1985.

_____. Mississippi Delta Ethnographic Overview.  Prepared for the NPS by the National Council for the Traditional Arts.  New Orleans: Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, 1979.

Swanton, John R.  The Indians of the Southeastern United States.  Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 137 (1946).

_____. Indian Tribes of the Lower Mississippi Valley and Adjacent Coast of the Gulf of Mexico.  Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 43 (1911).

_____. A Structural and Lexical Comparison of the Tunica, Chitimacha, and Atakapa Languages.  Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 68 (1919).

White, R.M. “Cultural Gumbo?”: An Ethnographic Overview of Louisiana’s Mississippi River Delta.  A Report Prepared for Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, 1998.