The River Bottom: Choctaw-Apache Foodways in Ebarb, Louisiana

SFA film The River Bottom premiered at our 2016 Southern Foodways Symposium, where we talked about corn as symbol, sustenance, and problem.

The Choctaw-Apache tribe of Ebarb, Louisiana, has been living off the land in western Louisiana for hundreds of years. In the 1960’s tribal members were forced to move out of the river bottom to nearby lands. Many had to sell their land for as little as $25 an acre to the governments of Louisiana and Texas. The area was flooded to create Toledo Bend Reservoir and the Choctaw-Apache people lost their ancestral land. This short documentary follows the tribe as they continue to practice their culture and preserve their native identities despite challenges.

This film came about through a collaboration with foodways scholar and Choctaw-Apache tribal member Robert B. Caldwell, Jr.. Caldwell presented his paper “Metate and Log Mortar: Corn and Other Foods in the Choctaw-Apache Community of Ebarb, Louisiana” at our fourth annual Graduate Student Conference in September.

Find out more about the Choctaw-Apache Tribe of Ebarb, Louisiana, including information about their efforts to be federally recognized at the tribe’s website: