Southern Elegance 

                      Reflections of the South

American Heritage Dolls 

by JoAnn Bernard


"Louisiana Cajun"

written by JoAnn Bernard

Cajuns are of French ancestry exiled from their native land of Acadia, a French colony in eastern Canada near the Bay of Fundy. Exiles into France, England, and the eastern English colonies began with the French and Indian War (1754-1763) between Great Britain and France. After the war (1764-1788), Acadians arrived in the French colony of Louisiana. They settled as small farmers and woodsmen in the swamps on the bayous Teche and Lafourche along the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. There they built their traditional renditions of a story and a-half country cottages made with narrow front porches. Cajun's are a proud people of Catholic faith famous for their wit, music, and spicy foods. The unique Cajun music is a combination of French, folk, country, and blues. The Louisiana Cajuns, best known for developing a spicy French cooking style combining the rich seafood of Louisiana bayous and the natural herbs and spices grown to the area. To celebrate their heritage they adapted a tradition call fais-do-dos, gathering on Sundays to share their spicy foods, and to dance to their music. Through years of determination, hard work, and sacrifice, the Louisiana Cajuns turned the swamps and marshland of Louisiana into a homeland to call their own and still continue to maintain their rich cultural heritage.

    JoAnn Bernard is a self-taught artist.  Born JoAnn Gonzales on the bayou of Delacroix Island, Louisiana, with an Islenos heritage that stems back to Spain's Canary Islands.  Her love of the beautiful State of Louisiana has inspired the Days of Old Collection, a line of Louisiana heritage character dolls.  Through research, she has reproduced Louisiana ancestry; African American, Cajun, Islenos and others in life-like forms as they were seen years ago.  JoAnn has created a complete original collection.  She sculpts the original pieces and reproduces them in plaster molds.  The face of each character is hand-painted, dressed (clothing and jewelry may vary) and positioned on handcrafted wooden pedestals and chairs to recreate photographs and sketches of the 1800's.  The body designs are unique in construction and design.  All wigs are hand-made by the artist using mohair strands.  The artist developed original clothing designs and patterns.  Props were designed and created for each individual character doll.  All clay pieces are limited editions of 500 and are numbered and signed by the artist.  Booklets and display cards are also designed by Jo Ann to include the number of the piece and a short story about the character doll.   Booklets are attached to the piece, and the display card can be framed to stand along side the piece.  Character dolls range in height from 16 to 18 inches tall.  Total height of the piece may vary depending upon position of character dolls.  A numbered and signed Certificate of Authenticity is provided with each character doll.

ŠJo Ann Bernard

Attached booklets contain above information

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Louisiana Heritage Dolls by JoAnn Bernard

Louisiana Heritage Dolls


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Louisiana Heritage Doll Collection 

by JoAnn Bernard

An original clay doll collection, for the doll collecting enthusiast

Learn about Louisiana Culture through this American Heritage Doll collection inspired by sketches, photographs and stories of the 1800's.

Display card and Booklets printed on aged parchment paper  

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African American Heritage Dolls by JoAnn Bernard

African American Heritage Dolls

Figurines by JoAnn Bernard

Figurines, Sculptured Slates and Inspirational Sketches

Oil Paintings by JoAnn Bernard

Oil Paintings

Duck Carvings by JoAnn Bernard

Duck Carving

Read about JoAnn's Doll Making & Biography

Doll Making Techniques/Bio

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