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Claude Lirette was born in 1926, in Chauvin, Louisiana. Mr. Lirette is Cajun and speaks both English and French. Claude has been carving for over twenty years, a craft he learned from friends while working in the oilfield.
Mr. Lirette makes miniature pirogues, a type of lightweight, flat bottom boat that can be used for hunting and fishing in very shallow water. His pirogues include detailed objects such as paddles, poles, ice chests, decoys, and sand and shell buckets all carved from wood. He also carves wooden toys. Claude uses a knife as his only tool, and he enjoys working with cypress and tupelo gum to make his Cajun crafts. He belongs to the Louisiana Craftsmen Association.
Claude and his wife Merle enjoy traveling across the state of Louisiana together with their crafts. They have presented at the New Orleans Jazz Festival, the Tomato Festival in New Orleans, the Food and Heritage Festival in LaRose, Louisiana, their local television stations, and the Louisiana Folk Festival in Monroe, Louisiana.
Updated March 23,2017 by Natchitoches-NSU Louisiana Folklife Center Staff