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Bourg, Jessie

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Miniature Boat and Net Maker

Jessie Bourg of Chalmette, Louisiana was born in Galliano in 1928. He spoke English, French, and a little Spanish. When Jessie retired he spent many hours on the craft he loved--building miniature boats.

He learned to make miniature boats from his family when he was a child in Cut-Off, Louisiana and by studying other boats. His intricately detailed models were made from cypress and other woods. His work included detailed Lafitte skiffs, simple pirogues, and trawlers, which are complete with nets and oysters. He also learned to make cast nets and other nets as a child, using No. 4 twine.

Mr. Bourg enjoyed teaching others about his culture and about model boat building. With his wife and partner Gloria, he has demonstrated his net making and miniature boat building at various places: the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the Plaquemines Parish Fair and Orange Festival, the French Market in New Orleans, the Biloxi Museum, and at various schools. He did not sell his larger model boats, but did offer small model skiffs, pirogues, and small cast nets for sale.

Updated November 29, 2016 by Natchitoches-NSU Louisiana Folklife Center Staff