Learn (French Creole) and laugh -- with the humorous, Creole characters "Bouki and Lapin"
"The Creole Folktales of Compaire Bouki and Compaire Lapin" have a rich and fascinating history, hundreds of years old. The tales originated from Senegal, Africa and according to the historical, Louisiana Creole Plantation 'Laura', they were first recorded in the United States - in Laura Plantation's 150-year-old cabins.
Lapin's adventures ('Lapin' means "rabbit" in French) soon went on to become the popular American Tales known as 'Br'er (Brother) Rabbit' - only 'Compaire Bouki and Compaire Lapin' retain the original, unique French Creole 'flavor'. (In French folklore, 'compaire/compair' means brother.)
In various Louisiana stories Bouki is pictured as a donkey, raccoon or wolf. You'll get to meet 'Bouki the donkey', in "Bouki's Honey". Bouki was a 'hyena' in the original African folktales. The name 'Bouki' is a 'wolof ' word - 'wolof ' being both the language and the people of Senegal , Africa - and is said to mean, "stupid hyena". Some even say 'Bouki' is a play on words meaning, "bookish" (something the character never is). It is believed that the Senegal slaves brought to Louisiana, actually told the African-based stories of 'Bouki and Lapin' as code, to illustrate victory over the conditions of slavery - with Lapin humorously outwitting plantation owner, 'Bouki'.
Thus we have 'a bit of history and a lot of humor', with the colorful tales of 'Lapin' - the clever, trickster rabbit, and 'Bouki', the slow-witted donkey. Today, 'Compaire Bouki and Compaire Lapin' continue to be popular, French Creole folktales passed from generation to generation -- and enjoyed by ages one to 101.
*Note: Coming in late 2007-
Bouki and Lapin merchandise - t-shirts, coffee mugs and more