JazzyStuff.com - New Orleans and Gulf Coast Artists

Lois Simbach

Lois Simbach has combined a background of textiles and sculpture with her love of cultural anthropology to create these famous and collectible "Ju-Ju" dolls.

Used on album covers, convention flyers, national award winning advertisements, movie props, giant float and party decorations and receiving numerous festival awards and private commissions, "Ju-Jus" have been developing in size, character and product application for over 20 years.

"I have even received numerous wedding commissions. One where both the lacy and pastel bridal "Ju-Ju" and the more dark and masculine groom "Ju-Ju" were riding motorcycles. These were then placed on top of the wedding cake!"

This year Simbach is expanding into more painting and has developed the "Too Hot to Handle" pot holders with Voodoo themes, "Ju-Ju" small accent pillows and a line of hand-painted 100% cotton women's wrap and tie summer tops.

In 1989, Lois was honored by being crowned the Queen of the Krew du Vieux Carre Mardi Gras Parade. "I was the Queen of Voodoo!"

"I began creating "Ju-Ju" dolls as a matter of civic pride," explains Lois. Fascinated with the wealth of cultural elements in New Orleans, Lois derives her design ideas from the voodoo religion and fetish sculptures which were brought here by African slaves.

Traditionally, the art and magic of the voodoo doll were used by medicine men and women to represent a person for ritual healing practices. Ideally, each doll was made with items that belonged to that person; scraps of clothing, hair and even fingernails.

True to this tradition, each "Ju-Ju" is individually sewn and personalized. No two are the same. True to the tradition of African sculpture in honoring the perpetuation of life, all "Ju-Jus" are either male or female.

Lois calls her dolls "Ju-Ju", which means "fetish charm." Their style is definitely contemporary and positively upbeat.