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Musicians from Olympia playing traditional dance music of Quebec. Our band name means 'people of the falls'.

  • Community

Our band name, Les Gens des Chutes, is French, and means ‘people of the falls’. The name is derived from a story about the first French-speaking people to visit South Puget Sound. Like all good stories, it may or may not be true.

About 200 years ago, French Canadian fur trappers, working for a British fur trading company, worked their way west across the entire continent to Puget Sound.

They visited some waterfalls at the southern most point of Puget Sound, located in what is now the City of Tumwater. When the trappers saw the falls, they exclaimed “des chutes,” which in French means “the waterfalls.”

Although the trappers moved on, the name “des chutes” stuck. Today, the river over those falls is called the Deschutes River. Our name, Les Gens des Chutes, people of the falls — pays tribute to those French Canadian trappers and the beautiful waterfalls they named.

These waterfalls are a landmark in our area so we included them on the cover of our new CD of French Canadian Dance Music in South Puget Sound.