Through all of her work as historic Interpreter, Creole culture activist, registered teaching artist, and event producer, Dianne Honoré is deeply rooted in Louisiana. In this conversation with TSA Digital Content Editor, Lauren Baccus, Dianne talks about Black Indian masking traditions, the necessary work of sharing stories and the lead-up to New Orleans Mardi Gras for the founder of the Black Storyville Babydolls.
For More About Dianne Honore
Dianne “Gumbo Marie” Honoré is an award winning Historic Interpreter, Creole culture activist, registered teaching artist and event producer. She founded the Black Storyville Baby Dolls™, the Amazons Benevolent Society™, and Unheard Voices of Louisiana™. Annually on Mardi Gras Day, she masks as Big Queen of the Yellow Pocahontas Hunters Tribe for which she meticulously creates one-of-a-kind “suits” from thousands of beads and feathers. Her Baby Doll costumes and Black Masking Indian suits have been in multiple exhibits including at the Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac in Paris, France.
She has curated numerous history-related music and food events, tours, and exhibits over several decades including the My Color, My People and Black Storyville tours, a Creole food tour for Culinary Backstreets, and the Golden Crown exhibit and symposium at the New Orleans Jazz Museum celebrating the 150 legacy of Big Chief Darryl Montana. Dianne was awarded the 2013 Recognition Award by the Louisiana Research Association for outstanding contributions to society through Truthful Historical Storytelling and in 2018 she received the Mardi Gras Indian Hall of Fame “Capturing the Spirit” Award for work in the community and cultural preservation efforts.
By embracing and learning from history as well as being a 3 time cancer survivor and professional nurse, Dianne along with Unheard Voices co-founder Dr. Ronald Schumann developed a ground breaking program called “Healing through History.” It was successfully released in 2020 over 8 weeks.