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Mr. Willie Badeaux was born in 1943 in the community of Bayou Gauche, close to the city of Des Allemands, Louisiana. Mr. Badeaux's main occupation was carpentry, and at one time, his main craft was wooden boat building. He learned boat building from his father-in-law, Joseph Dufrene, a Bayou Gauche resident. Willie gained his experience in woodwork by working with Mr. Dufrene for fifteen years. Later, Mr. Badeaux started carving duck decoys and other wildfowl.
Willie contributed much of his knowledge of the wildlife to fisherman, trappers, and alligator hunters from the Bayou. He used hand tools and tupelo gum to freeze his art forms as close to natural as possible.
Mr. Badeaux has participated at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the 1984 Worlds Fair, made dugouts with Tan Brunet at the Creole State Exhibit, and was one of the 1983 and 1985 winners of the Best in Gulf South contest at the Louisiana Wildfowl Carvers Festival.
Updated November 15, 2016 by Natchitoches-NSU Louisiana Folklife Center Staff