New Orleans Presents a Collection of Photographs and Biographies of the Baby Doll Ladies

The Krewe of New Orleans presents a collection of photographs and biographies about its Baby Doll Ladies. Included is a brief bio for each of the 24 dancers, as well as their own personal details. This publication features a comprehensive history of the Baby Doll Ladies’ tradition. The book also features the Krewe’s homecoming. Several of these images were taken at the event, and they serve as beautiful, informative keepsakes.

Gold Digger Baby Dolls

The Gold Digger Baby Dolls are an old school group that still performs in parades and events. They are an extension of the Million Dollar Baby Dolls. Their nicknames come from the time when they masked as babies. Merline Kimble grew up with these dolls and was part of the group when it was still called the Batiste Gang or the Dirty Dozen. As a child, she wore a baby doll outfit and stepped out on Mardi Gras. In this interview, she talks about the scandalous costumes of her generation.

The Baby Dolls were popularized after the Civil War, when they were largely accepted by the white community. The early Baby Dolls were not white, but Black, and uncultured. Moreover, they were poor and not literate. Their story may have had different origins, but they were still part of the mainstream in many Black communities. They were not just “baby dolls” – they were full-grown women, too.

Mahogany Blue Baby Dolls

New Orleans baby doll ladies is a cultural force and a member of the Mahogany Blue Baby Dolls. She serves as grand marshal of the New Orleans Mission and volunteers at the street food distribution under the Claiborne Bridge. Oubre is also part of the Muff-a-lottas dance troupe and the Lady Rollers. She is one of seven children, and her parents met while out clubbing. They instilled in their children a love of dance and music.

Millisia White, a native New Orleanian, is a co-curator of the new exhibition with Vaz. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, she decided to do something to preserve and revive the culture. She conducted interviews with elders and collaborated with her brother, a DJ, to create sounds for the baby dolls. The Baby Doll Ladies performed at Mardi Gras in 2009, and it was the first time they had performed with the group.

Million Dollar Baby Dolls

The Million Dollar Baby Dolls were an iconic group of women from the late 1800s and early 1900s who paraded in colorful bloomers and short skirts with garters made of dollar bills. Their costumes were adorned with elaborate makeup and corkscrew curl wigs. These adorable dolls were clad in blue and pink satin. Their costumes featured bawdy lyrics to popular vaudeville show tunes.

According to Kim Vaz-Deville, professor of education at Xavier University in Louisiana, “Million Dollar Baby Dolls are a reaction to the popular media of the time,”

Antoinette K-Doe’s Baby Dolls

Antoinette K-Doe was an entrepreneur, mother, and cultural pillar in the New Orleans community. In her last years, she resurrected the tradition of Baby Dolls. K-Doe was a beloved and influential community leader, a mother, and the wife of a renowned New Orleans singer named Ernie. Her commitment to cultural preservation and community building inspired many to take up this tradition.

In reviving this tradition, Miss Antoinette founded her own Mardi Gras krewe, the Baby Dolls. The group of baby dolls grew to 40 members and marched with Indians and the city council. The Baby Dolls’ tradition of marching with Indians is also revived, with the Baby Dolls performing alongside native New Orleans artists.

New Orleans’s N’awlins D’awlins

Mardi Gras is back in New Orleans after a pandemic hiatus, and the city’s Baby Dolls are back in town for the annual parade. The Baby Dolls, formed of a dozen or so women in the city, strut their stuff through the streets. They’re part of a social club that is linked in some way, such as living in the same area.

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