Barataria Basin

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The Barataria Basin is part of Louisiana's coastal region west of the Mississippi River. The southern limit of the basin is Grand Terre Island, a possible settlement for some late 18th and early 19th century Manilamen. In the late 19th century, the basin was the epicenter for the dried shrimp industry and home to Manila Village.


In the French (1682-1762) and Spanish (1762-1800) colonial periods, the southern limits of the Barataria Basin were sparsely populated. [1] During the Spanish period, the basin was a prominent smuggling route. The basin allowed merchants to bring goods into Louisiana through back bayous and avoid the customs house on the Mississippi River. Ships would anchor in the basin at Grand Terre. Goods would be unloaded onto the beach of the barrier island, and transported through the bayous via pirogues and eventually into to the Mississippi River and on to New Orleans.

Early Manilamen would have had the opportunity to come ashore in coastal Louisiana and to join the area's smuggling economy.


  1. Maygarden, Benjamin. Cultural Resources Investigations on Grand Terre Island, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana: Final Report. New Orleans, La: Earth Search, 1995.