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The Brayon

Like the history of its people, the term Brayon is composed partly from reality, partly from legend. Several definitions of the term have appeared over the years, fanning the fires of the Madawaskan myth. 

In the olden days, inhabitants of the Madawaska region cultivated an herbaceous plant called flax, in french known as "Braye". The pioneers grew flax on the plains of Saint-Basile. This plant was crushed to render it fibrous in order to make clothing. Thus the flax "brayeux" (shredders) came to be known as Brayons. 

The term "Brayon" can also be associated with the first settlers of Canada, given that some French colonists originally came from the Pays de Bray in Upper Normandy. Several similarities exist between Brayons from the mother country and those from Madawaska, especially their contagious "joie de vivre" (happiness of living) and the renowned buckwheat pancake more commonly known as ploye.

In spite of the polemic surrounding the term "Brayon", one definition stands out among the Madawaskan community. According to the Belisle Dictionary, the Brayons are officially recognized as being "inhabitants of Madawaska".


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