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We are well-studied, dedicated cultural gate-keepers who want you to learn about and enjoy Louisiana's rich history! "New Orleans people talking up New Orleans culture to help you enjoy your Louisiana travels!"
Contributors include local authors, musicians, masking baby dolls, Louisiana historians, local activists and more!
Pictured is Dr. Ronald Schumann, Ph.D Cultural Geography, co-founder of Unheard Voices of Louisiana™
I'm Gumbo Marie, New Orleans Culture Queen™ and I love being able to share Louisiana's heritage! Please check the blog for our fabulous contributing writers with information about history, local stories, fun facts, and amazing things to do in Louisiana! Join our pot of gumbo, hang out and enjoy! Did you know the word gumbo comes from the Angolan word kingombo and means 'okra.’ xoxo Gumbo Marie
We were super excited that Nova, the character played by stellar actress Rutina Wesley on the show "Queen Sugar" wore our Unheard Voices of Louisiana™ t-shirt! Queen Sugar is in it's second season and is based on the novel by Natalie Baszile. It's a great show with Louisiana roots! Order your Unheard Voices of Louisiana t-shirt ™ today!
We carry on a Mardi Gras masking tradition called the baby dolls. It started around 1912 in the neighborhood where Louis Armstrong lived called Black Storyville, some say! Our mission is to preserve the tradition through educational outreach by utilizing different platforms. We parade, host special events, offer Baby Doll tours, volunteer in our community, and mentor youth. Learn more about the baby dolls here baby dolls
Photo credit: Cedric Ellsworth
Our oldest cemeteries reflect the practices of Catholicism and Voodoo and are interesting to behold. They are sacred places for many locals. Our families are entombed here as well as great contributors to our community. They are not museums. They are burial grounds. A proper introduction to our burial culture and the truth about Voodoo and Catholicism practices are a must. Our most benevolent Voodoo practitioners maintain their privacy although there are a few who openly practice. Voodoo was born between enslavement and the French crown who required citizens of Louisiana to practice Catholicism. Had it not been for the African enslaved being brought here Louisiana Voodoo would not exist. Originally they were healers, nurses of the sick, and spiritualists of African and Creole descent but secrecy, outsiders' influence, and Hollywood turned Voodoo into something many see as pop culture. Voodoo is a world religion and should be respected as such. Voodoo Queens rarely ever truly exist while many refer to themselves as such. Also, realize most of Louisiana Voodoo is passed from one generation to the next, not always, but typically in black families. A last note, Marie Laveau has no known descendants. Many people claim her as an ancestor but with no real proof. It has been researched by scholars and nothing has been found. For more information on this you might want to start with a solid read and a good lecture. One book about Marie Laveau I recommend is by author Carolyn Morrow Long: "A New Orleans Voudou Priestess: The Legend and Reality of Marie Laveau"