By: Maida Owens
After visiting Our Lady of Tickfaw, I returned to Inspiration Park a few weeks later to see how it was holding up. Approaching the park, you can see the red, clay soil of this area.
Road Leading into Inspiration Park
The chaplain John Hurst says he was inspired by Joshua to build this site as a “stone of witness for all people to look at the cross and see Jesus.” This labyrinth is a bit unusual since it includes scriptures within the labyrinth path.
Inspiration Park Labyrinth
After having a vision, Hurst built a Chapel of the Light with murals of the End Days and angels.
Inspiration Park- Chapel
Inspiration Park Chapel- End Times Mural
Ceiling View - Inspiration Park Chapel
Inspiration Chapel Angel
So Tangipahoa Parish has a Catholic visionary and a Baptist visionary.
The Florida Parishes and the Northshore is changing dramatically since Katrina. The area has always had people from New Orleans, but they tended to cluster along the Northshore in St. Tammany Parish. Tammany was one of the fastest growing communities before Katrina. But many more people from St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes are relocating to this area. They are also bringing their businesses with them. Hammond has grown as are all the towns along Interstate 10. The newcomers are not only bringing their businesses; they are also bringing their cultures.
A whole neighborhood of Islenos
The Islenos in St. Bernard moved to the Northshore. The Islenos are the descendents of Canary Islanders who came to several areas in south Louisiana in the late 1700s. Those who stayed in St. Bernard Parish were more isolated than others and were able to maintain their archaic Spanish. Many continued the traditional occupations of trapping and fishing. It will be interesting to see how these Islenos adapt to a new ecosystem and an area where they are not isolated or the dominant culture. What traditions will be maintained? Which will be lost? Which will adapt? With the massive displacement of people, these same questions can be asked of all the traditional cultures of the Gulf Coast.
About Maida Owens
A cultural anthropologist and a native Louisianian who cares deeply about her home state, Maida Owens has curated exhibits and websites, authored and edited books and articles, produced videos, and created educational materials on Louisiana’s many traditional cultures. She works with organizations and researchers to identify traditional artists and determine the most appropriate way to present folk musicians, storytellers, craftsmen, and traditional cooks to the public. She has worked with hundreds of folk artists from Louisiana's diverse cultures. Her work takes her throughout the state and in the process, she has photographed Louisiana’s people and landscapes.
All images are the property of Maida Owens and may not be linked to another website, copied, or reproduced without permission.