Southern Elegance 

                      Reflections of the South

African American Dolls

"Marie Laveau" holding Gris Gris Bag

New Orleans Voodoo Queen of 1815

Rich and prominent people of New Orleans called on Marie Laveau for her services, purchasing gris-gris.  Marie made gris-gris bags to use as magical potions perhaps to acquire a lover or maybe to destroy one.  Bags were filled with an assortment of items ranging from lizard eggs to bird feathers. The New Orleans Voodoo Queen Doll is pictured below holding a gris gris bag in her left hand. This African American Doll is 16 inches in height and is seated on a hand-crafted wooden chair designed by Brian Bernard. Accessories include; gold hoop earrings and a gris gris bag. Her wig is made of black strands of mohair.  The mohair wigs lend a natural authentic African American appearance to each doll.  The Marie Laveau doll is dressed in a white peasants blouse and a peach skirt trimmed with eyelet lace. One of Marie's distinct features is her bare feet. JoAnn's unique doll body design allows Marie to be positioned in various ways by bending her arms at the elbow joints and by bending her legs at the knee joints. This feature adds to the lifelike quality of the piece. 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 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

Marie Laveau

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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 research of Marie Laveau brings back memories. I especially looked forward to going to the French Quarter on the weekends. My trips included visits to the New Orleans Historical Museum and walking through the shops looking for historical literature. The New Orleans Historical Museum is a well worth visit if you ever take a trip to New Orleans. The research department was my main interest at the museum. I would go there to research sketches from the 1800's. What is amazing about the collection is the actual prints and photographs of the past. You are allow to view these vintage items, but are instructed to wear white cotton gloves to prevent any wear on the delicate items. Visits to the museum were very rewarding and the highlight to my research.

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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