Code Noir PPt

The Code Noir
French Louisiana Culture
The Code Noir
• 1685 (set of laws) to
regulate the growing
number of slaves in the
– Code Noir means the
black code.
Code Noir and Marriage
• Forbid interracial marriages.
– French and slaves could still marry Indians.
• Forbid slaves & French from living together as
– Often ignored because few French women living in
the colony.
• Any children born to interracial couples would
be slaves.
Code Noir and Freedom
• Sometimes slave
owners would want to
free their slave wife and
– This required a lot of
trouble and expense.
– Slaves that were freed &
had French blood were
called, les gens de
couleur libres.
Code Noir and Cruelty
• Slaves could not: be educated, gather in public in
large numbers & they could not carry weapons.
• Punishment was cruel and severe.
– Runaways could be branded or have their ears cut off.
– Any slave who hit his owner or ran away 3 times was
• Slaves were at the mercy of their owners.
– Owners were not punished for cruelty or murder.
Code Noir and Slave Rights
• Code Noir was one of the few slave codes that
gave slaves some rights.
– Slaves were recognized as humans & were allowed to
marry other slaves.
– A child under 14 could not be separated from his
– Slaves did not work on Sundays or religious holidays.
– Slave owners had to provide: food, shelter, clothing,
& medical attention.
– If a slave became old or sick, the owner still had to
care for him.
Code Noir and Freed Slaves
• Code Noir said that
freed slaves had the
same rights as the
– Freed slaves could own
property, have slaves, &
serve in the government
or military.
– Free people of color
were wealthy and
Code Noir and Religion
• Everyone had to be
– No other religious
practices were allowed
in the colony
• All slaves had to be
• Jews were not allowed in
the colony.
Slave Culture
• Many African traditions still exist in Louisiana
– Example is Gumbo.
• Name from the African word for okra “guingombo.”
– Example is Voodoo.
– Catholic & African traditions blended together
– Believe in God but also in other sprits
• Magic chants, spells, potions, and charms to ward off evil.
– Dark side of voodoo is called hoodoo (to harm people)
Slave Culture
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