Southern Elegance 

                      Reflections of the South

African American Dolls

"Mammy & Baby"

   There are no words to describe the importance of "The Mammy" to Southern Culture. Because of her intelligence, loyalty and wisdom, the southern family chose her to nurture the children. Her loving care compared only with natural bond of motherhood.  This African American Doll was inspired by E.W. Kemble's New Orleans sketch, dated 1825.  The Mammy Doll is seated on a hand-crafted wooden rocker designed by Brian Bernard. On her lap sits the baby doll.  The Mammy Doll is 16 inches in height and is dressed in a black and white graham Victorian dress. In the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture under Mammy, there is a photograph of a Mammy holding a baby. I used that photo to design the mammy's dress. She also wears the traditional apron around her waist. (Note: Jewelry and dress fabric/print may vary depending on availability). The Mammy Doll has made a handmade wig from gray mohair strands. The mohair wigs lend a natural authentic African American appearance to each doll.  A white tignon (bandanna) is worn on her head. In 1792 a law was enforced in New Orleans that called for all women of color to wear a tignon on their head. Accessories are gold hoop earrings, a golden brooch on her blouse, and a replica of a silver rattle in her left hand. The baby doll is 6 inches in height, and she is dressed in a white christening gown. The wig is made with strands of mohair twisted on wire rods, then heated in the oven to form ringlets. She wears a white lace bonnet on her head. A white crocheted blanket surrounds the baby. The baby also cradles a teddy bear or mini baby doll in her arms. JoAnn's unique doll body design allows the mammy doll and baby doll to be positioned in various ways by bending at elbow joints and knee joints. This feature adds to the life-like quality of the pieces. Accompanying the character doll is a booklet and display card designed by JoAnn to include; the number of the piece, the inspirational sketch, a short bio, and a story about the character. All clay pieces are limited editions of 500. A numbered and signed Certificate of Authenticity is also provided with the character doll.

African American Doll

Mammy and Baby

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Sample Booklet

Click here to view contents of display card and booklet

Clicking of the sample booklet cover (above) will bring you to the story page for this character doll.  The previous and next buttons below photo will surf you through the large doll photo pages. Clicking of the Back button will bring you back to the
African American Heritage Doll page. Clicking any of the icons in the menu options row below will bring you to that particular destination.



ŠJo Ann Bernard

JoAnn's Comments: The Mammy and Baby is one of my favorites. When I created this character doll, I associated the care taking of the mammy with my thoughts of my grandmother, Irene Campo. As a child I remember being rocked in her arms with lots of love and kindness. This is a precious gift she gave me, and I hope to pass it down to my grandchildren, Casey, Brianne, Trey, and Maddie. The poem was written with her in mind. I love and miss you Maw Maw.

Original African American Dolls

by JoAnn Bernard

An original clay doll collection, for the doll collecting enthusiast

Original African American Dolls recreating Louisiana Life in the 1800's.  Learn about Louisiana Culture through this African American Heritage Doll collection inspired by sketches, photographs and stories of the 1800's.  These African American life like hand made dolls have attached booklets and display cards with short historical essays about the character.  All dolls are reproduced in clay using JoAnn Bernard's plaster molds developed from her original doll designs. Doll wigs, clothing, dress designs, and props are all handmade by the artist.

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Louisiana Heritage Dolls by JoAnn Bernard

Louisiana Heritage Dolls

Figurines, Sculptured Slates/sketches by JoAnn Bernard

Figurines, Sculptured Slates and Inspirational sketches

Oil Paintings by JoAnn Bernard

Oil Paintings

Duck Carvings by JoAnn Bernard

Duck Carving

Click here to read about me

Doll Making Techniques/Bio


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