HOUMA — The Southdown Plantation House has an exhibit celebrating Cajun craftsmanship, compiled primarily by the late artisans’ families.

At the center is Ebdon Alleman, a pirogue maker from Pierre Part who caught the attention of two filmmakers in the 1940s.

Director Robert Flaherty used a pirogue Alleman made in his film “Louisiana Story.” The movie was nominated for an Oscar in 1948.

“He was looking for authentic artisans down the bayou who could contribute,” Rachel Cherry, the plantation museum’s director, said of Flaherty.

Another storyteller, Arnold Eagle, was on set taking photographs of Flaherty when Alleman caught his eye. Eagle later made a short film about Alleman called “The Pirogue Maker.”

Visitors can view the tools Alleman used and watch “The Pirogue Maker” as part of the “Art of the Edge Tool” exhibit at the plantation house, Cherry said.

The exhibit celebrates the bygone era of Cajun artisans. Its formal opening is Sunday. A reception will run from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and is open to the public.

“We’re showing different kinds of artisans from that era and how they used hand tools, specifically as opposed to computers, to create the art they create,” said Cherry, who noted many of the crafts were made “out of necessity, but have become art.”

Although there is a pirogue on display at Southdown, the one Alleman built in “Louisiana Story” was exhibited at the World’s Fair in New Orleans in 1984 before ending up on display at the Smithsonian.

That pirogue was likely one of the last to be made using the old methods and tools, beginning with sawing a tree down, Cherry said.

Marylin Porche, 63, one of several members of Alleman’s family who contributed to the exhibit, said she likes the idea of preserving the tools for a younger generation.

“It’s an appreciation for what our grandparents did,” said Porche, of Dularge. “Life was a lot harder back then.”

Some of the tools on display include a homemade wooden mallet, an adze used for smoothing or carving rough-cut wood, and a plane used for shaping the wood.