Houmas House, Part 1: George Rodrigue’s “Tante ‘Gite’s Gumbo”

May 7, 2022: HOUMAS HOUSE AND GARDENS: Wendy Rodrigue shares her late husband’s iconic 1978 painting of his mother and aunt during a special Mother’s Day presentation in the “George Rodrigue Library” at Houmas House in Darrow, Louisiana.

“I watched the Cajuns of my childhood assimilate into the American culture, unable to remain isolated in the modern world. I show this graphically by blending the Acadians’ clothing with the trees and ground. Tante ‘Gite (represented here by George’s mother) holds her famous gumbo in her lap, but her dress is part of the earth, and the gumbo is a part of her.” -George Rodrigue, from “The Sophistication of Gumbo,” an essay by Wendy Rodrigue for Gambit Weekly, 2011.

Also of note, as an addendum to this video, is that Tante Gite, born in 1880, was a traiteur, or Cajun healer, who specialized in healing sprains. Her prayer book, inherited by her from her father, doubled as her healer’s manual.

This is Part 1 of a 6-part series filmed by Douglas Magnus in the Rodrigue Library at Houmas House, May 2022. Part 2, now posted on You Tube, features Wendy Rodrigue’s reading of “The Artist’s Mother” from her book, “The Other Side of the Painting” (UL Press). Stay tuned for parts 3-6, posting later this summer.

With gratitude to Kevin Kelly and Houmas House for hosting this special “Life & Legacy Foundation” programming, engaging students of all ages through the arts, with a particular focus on the life and art of George Rodrigue.