Southern Elegance 

                      Reflections of the South

African American Dolls

"Marie Laveau"

Dancing with Snake

New Orleans Voodoo Queen of 1815

Marie Laveau was an intelligent African American woman who combined Voodoo with Christianity.  She informed the press of her rituals on the bayou, where she would dance seductively with her snake, named Zombi.  These performances helped her gain notoriety.  The New Orleans Voodoo Queen doll is pictured below dancing with her snake, Zombie.  This beautiful African American Doll  is 16 inches in height and is set on a hand-crafted wooden pedestal designed by Brian Bernard. The Marie Laveau doll is dressed in a white peasants blouse and a red skirt trimmed with eyelet lace. Marie's wig is made from black strands of mohair.  The mohair wigs lend a natural authentic African American appearance to each doll.   Accessories include; gold hoop earrings and a hand-sculpted snake. 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 at the elbow joints and knee joints. This feature adds to the life-like 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 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

Marie Laveau w/ snake

Click here to see More Picture of Marie Laveau created in the year 2013

Click on Marie to see the last one created on 7/2013

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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:  On one of my quest to the New Orleans French Quarter in search of information about Marie Laveau, I went to the Voodoo Museum. Once there I questioned the shops assistant about Marie Laveau. I told the assistant about my intentions to create a Marie Laveau character doll. He said a likeness of her image had never been taken while she was alive. In all my research about Marie I could not prove or disprove his statement. Marie's features are strictly from my imagination. He did suggest I ask for Marie Laveau's permission to create her likeness. Puzzled, I asked how could I ask for her permission, she is no longer with us. He went on by instructing me on a ritual dance and suggested I perform these series of hops and shuffles at her grave. He also suggested I mark her grave with an X and leave an offering. I know to this day offerings are still left at Marie Laveau's grave. It is said no one knows exactly where Marie Laveau is buried, some say she is buried in an unmarked grave within St. Louis Cemetery No.1. So all offerings and ritual dances performed at Marie Laveau grave in the New Orleans, St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 may be ill-advised. If you do visit New Orleans and someone suggest you make an offering to Marie at the St Louis Cemetery No. 1, please be cautious and only visit the cemetery in groups and definitely during the day. BE CAREFUL! I do have to admit my research has never been uneventful.

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

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Doll Making Techniques/Bio


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