1998 Mystery
Steamer Trunk #1

1. This is a voodoo doll. It looks like a little scarecrow. It's made of broom straw, horesehair, fabric, and paint. Voodoo is a religion based on beliefs brought by slaves from Africa to Haiti and America. The practice of voodoo changed as it was mixed with western culture and religions. An important figure in our watershed's history is Marie Laveau, a voodoo priestess. There is a voodoo museum here and there is currently an exhibit of Haitian voodoo artifacts at our Museum of Art.

2. Music is an important part of life here. All of the different ethnic groups have developed their own styles of music. This tape has examples of all types of music.

The large city in our watershed is often called the "birth place of jazz." We have a large Jazz and Heritage Festival in April. It is a huge celebration! The people here love parties and celebrations.

3. The Magnolia tree can grow very large and has white blossoms that bloom during the spring. It is one of the best trees to climb because the branches grow mostly straight out so that you can go straight up to the top. Some can grow to be a 100 feet tall. We put this in the Steamer Trunk because we have a lot of these around and it is also the state flower.

4. This is the head of a young alligator. They can get very big and have teeth that are very sharp and can tear through bodies, arms, legs, and heads. Here they are farm raised for their meat. The skin is used for purses, belts, suitcases and other things to sell.

At one time, they were an endangered species, but have responded well to protective measures. They have been down-graded to threatened rather than endangered. Everyone in our class has seen alligators in the wild. They float in the water with only their eyes, ears, and noses showing.

5. Jambalaya is a famous food for our region. It is an original cajun meal. It is made with rice and lots of seasonings. Some people also put andouille sausage, crawfish, chicken or shrimp in this dish. It is served at parties, festivals like the Jazz Fest, at restaurants and at home. It can come in pre-made packages or be cooked from scratch. The directions are on the package if you want to try it. It is scrumptious and will make your taste buds dance.

6. Sugar Cane is a long stalk with leaves and has a lot of juice in it and it is sweet. They cut it down from the farm. Then, the truck or the tractors bring it to the factories. In the factories, they crush and shred it, then boil it in big cement circles that go into the ground and is full of fire. It is very hot in the tubs. To get the juice they smash it. Sugar Cane is the main agricultural crop here.



Tabasco is a very hot sauce made near our large city. It is made out of hot peppers that will make your mouth burn for hours. It is a small bottle that holds 2 fluid ounces. We included this in our Trunk because we use this sauce in a lot of dishes like red beans and gumbo.

Zatarain's Creole Mustard is pretty hot, too, so you can't put it on everything. It is very dark yellow with bits of seasoning that are very hot. We decided to put this in our Trunk because we use this like you use regular mustard and in dishes like tuna, jambalaya, sandwiches, and on po-boys.


9. This is a crawfish. It is red and is about this size. Crawfish have eight little legs behind them. The crawfish live underwater close to the dirty ground. They eat algae off the bottom of the ground. We include this photo in our Trunk because people in this area eat the tail, suck the heads, and sometimes eat the claws.

10. This is Spanish moss. It looks gray and stringy. The moss lives in trees and it damages trees if there is too much of it. We have lots of it in our trees. The early settlers used to dry it and use it to stuff mattresses.

11. Cockroaches are large beetle-like insects. A cockroach's color is reddish-brown and it wears two antennas on it's head. They live in walls and other dark and damp places. They crawl really fast. Cockroaches are very disgusting because they look sleazy and carry germs. There are a lot of cockroaches in our area - some people even call them the state bird.

12. A cypress knee is a part of the root of a cypress tree. The bad thing about cypress knees is they stick up, and, if you hit them, they will mess up your lawn mower. Some of the cypress knees can be very big and thick. Cypress can live for hundreds of years. They are an unusual kind of coniferous tree. Some trees lose some of their leaves in the winter. Cypress trees grow in the swamps or on dryer ground. They can grow very tall. We have included the cypress knees because these trees are all around us and are very unusual.

13. These are beads. They are very colorful and pretty. The colors are purple, green, and gold. Those are the colors of our regions famous celebration. We included them because they have a lot to do with the tradition of our famous celebration. They are thrown from floats in the parades that are organized by Krewes or clubs.

14. This is a mask made of colorful feathers. Masks like this are worn at our famous celebration, during the balls and by people riding on floats in the parades. The people decorate their houses with masks. The people here wear the masks to have fun.

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Center for Global Environmental Education
Hamline University Graduate School of Education
1536 Hewitt Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55104-1284
Phone: 651-523-2480 Fax: 651-523-2987
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