Louisiana Trail Riders
Louisiana Trail Riders
Louisiana Trail Riders
Louisiana Trail Riders
Louisiana Trail Riders
Louisiana Trail Riders
Louisiana Trail Riders
Louisiana Trail Riders

Louisiana Trail Riders

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Louisiana Trail Riders

By Jeremiah Ariaz

“In 2014 while riding my motorcycle in rural Louisiana, I encountered a large group of people riding horseback. They commanded the road, and I pulled over for them to pass. I retrieved my camera from the saddlebag of my bike and took a few photographs as they rode by. A gentleman near the end of the procession waved, encouraging me to join. So began my ride as witness to the trail-riding clubs.”

- Jeremiah Ariaz

African American Trail Riding Clubs have their roots in the Creole culture formed in South Louisiana in the eighteenth century. Today trail rides are an opportunity for generations of people to gather, celebrate, and ride horseback. The riders form a distinctive yet little-known sub-culture in Southwest Louisiana. In addition to sharing an important aspect of Louisiana’s cultural heritage, Ariaz’s photographs assert a counter-narrative to historic representations of the cowboy and prevailing images of difference and despair in Black America.

For more information on this project visit: www.louisianatrailriders.com

About the Author

Jeremiah Ariaz, creates works that explore both the geography and ideology of the American West. He received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and MFA from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Ariaz has exhibited and been invited to speak about his photography internationally. Projects include Staging the West, Tucumcari, Reconsidering Landscape, Shadow Root: Retracing the Santa Fe Trail, Fact and Fiction: Imaging the West, and Louisiana Trail Riders. Louisiana Trail Riders is the first project set in his adopted Southern home of Louisiana where he is an Associate Professor of Art at Louisiana State University.


Ariaz, Jeremiah, “Images from Louisiana’s Black Trail Riding Clubs.” the Paris Review, August 2018. Web.

Turner-Neal, Chris, “Our 2018 Book Recommendations”, Country Roads, November, 2018. Print.

Oliver, Marie Elizabeth, “New book pays homage to contemporary Creole trail riders” the Current, August 28, 2018. Web.

Morris, George, “Along for the Ride” The Advocate, August 28, 2018. Web. Print.

Fuselier Herman, ”Area trail riders fill photographer’s first book” The Lafayette Daily Advertiser, Aug 29, 2018. Web.

Apres Midi Afternoon Classics: KRVS Public Radio for Acadiana. Aired, Sep. 4, 2018.

Ariaz, Jeremiah, “Louisiana Steppers.” Eyes on the South, Oxford American, August 7, 2018.  

Lotz, CJ. Arts & Culture: August Reading List, Garden & Gun, August 2018. Print.

Fuselier Herman, “Trail Riders Fill Photographer’s First Book”, U.S. News & World Report, Aug. 9, 2018. Web.

Corey, Russ. Billy Reid’s Shindig highlights food, fashion, and music.” Times Daily. August 23, 2018. Web.

“Author and photographer finds muse in trail riding.” KATC news ABC. St Martin Parish, LA, Aired Sep. 8. 2018. Television.

Hirchman, Fred. “Jeremiah Ariaz” Ain’t Bad. 24 January 2018. Web.

“Louisiana Trail Riders.” Louisiana: The State We’re In, Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB). Baton Rouge, LA, Aired 9 Feb. 2018. Television.

“Jeremiah Ariaz Louisiana Trail Riders.” Lensculture, January 2018. Web.

Hirsch, Robert; Light and Lens: Photography in the Digital Age (Third Edition); Oxford, UK, Focal Press, Elsevier; 2018

Louisiana Cultural Vistas, Riders: Southwest Louisiana’s Creole Tradition, Winter 2017. Print.

Ariaz, Jeremiah, “Staging the West.” Symphony in The Flint Hills Field Journal, Vol. IX, 2017. Print.

Wallace, Carrie Beth. “Louisiana Trail Riders exhibit shows there are many sides to the American Story.” The Ledger-Enquirer [Columbus, GA] 19 March 2017: Print.

Ariaz, Jeremiah, “Southern Belles.” Belle Journal Volume II. 2017. Print.

Hoedel, Cindy. “Kansas native’s photos examine Germany’s fascination with America’s Old West.” The Kansas City Star [Kansas City, MO] 6 August 2016: Print.

Skene, Lea. "Panelists talk tame reality of Wild West." The Mercury [Manhattan, KS] 12 July 2016: 1. Print.

"Old Volland Store has many activities scheduled." The Smoke Signal [Wamego, KS], 29 June 2016: 1. Print.

"Wabaunsee County close-up: Myth, reality the American West. Photographer, a native Kansas, uses lens to explore Western Lore." The Topeka Capital-Journal [Topeka, KS] 28 May 2016.