Check out the fantastic interview by Business Report editor Stephanie Riegel here:
Check out a synopsis:
Louisiana is dripping with unique culture and history. But packaging up the images, icons and natural resources that come from our land and its landscapes, and bottling and selling them takes a special kind of talent. Casey Delmont Johnson is the designer/director of Roux Brands, a nine year old wholesaler of home décor, gifts and dinnerware. Roux Brands is based in Port Allen and incorporates in its products a southern theme that tells the story and the history of the Deep South. Roux Brands started out as a smaller retailer in 2006 and over the years has evolved into a wholesaler that now supplies more than 1,000 stores throughout the Southeast. Casey is the creative force behind the brand. He is a native of Walker and a graduate of LSU, who has experience in the film industry, in marketing and with numerous style-related periodicals. Elizabeth Holloway is a beekeeper and the owner of Bocage Bee and Honey, a homegrown brand that has earned raves in culinary circles around the state. Making honey, which Elizabeth does from a facility on Drusilla Avenue in Baton Rouge, is actually Elizabeth’s second career. She had a successful 40-year career in opera and theater and fell into the honey business quite by chance in the early 2000s. More than 15 years later, Bocage Bee and Honey now produces as many as 20 different varietals of honey, as well as a line of beeswax candles and soaps. Amd then there's the company's newest venture: moisturizing cream that employs the anti-bacterial properties of honeyfor the face and for your babay's derriere.
Guests of the benefit "toast" of the "downriver meeting of the courts" at next Thursday's "Alexander the Great Visits New Orleans" launch, will be the first to see a new book on the origins of the the fleur de lis.
View this email in your browser
Alexander's Fleur de Lis.
Fleur of the Nile NOLA Book Launch: Egyptian Iconography, Local Symbols Casey Delmont Johnson, author of Fleur of the Nile, a book that shows the connection between ancient Egypt iconography and the French royal symbol that was adopted in South Louisiana, will be among the many notables on hand to greet Alexander the Great on his upcoming visit to New Orleans.
Johnson says that Alexander would have been as familiar with fleur-like symbols as any Bourbon king because the Egyptians used lotus leaves and other flowers in patterns that predate medieval monarchy. “In fact,” says Johnson, “they adopted these symbols to claim their inherent power.”
Johnson’s new book makes comparisons between the Nile and the Mississippi deltas and shows how Louisiana’s “Kingfish,” Huey P. Long, used Egyptian symbols on the capitol building in Baton Rouge. “The capitol building is the exact height of the Great Pyramid in Ghiza,” he writes.
Johnson, a designer for Roux Brands, and author of another book on the fleur de lis, says that Alexander the Great would have been exposed to the fleur when he entered Egypt as pharaoh.
"Alexander the Great Visits New Orleans" is a contextual art exhibition including seven epic murals by Morgan Molthrop, contained in a “campaign tent” designed to house them. “Alexander spent most of his life in a tent, going from one end of his vast empire to the other,” he says. “It’s only fitting that for his visit to New Orleans, we provide appropriate accommodations.”
Other notable guests include Morgan Ford, manager of Yelp in New Orleans, who will reign as Queen Roxanne. Margarita Bergen, social reporter, will be Queen Sisygambis. Molly Jahncke will be Alexander's sister, Cleopatra. Artist Keith Duncan is a knight of the court of Alexander. Chuck Perkins will emcee a "meeting of the downriver courts" that will include royalty from various diverse non-traditional Carnival organizations from the downtown community. The culmination of the event will include a performance by Chief Honey and the Wild Bamboulas. Ticket prices include wine and light Caribbean fare.
For more information and tickets for the January 12th launch event, go to www.meetingofthecourts.com. For more information on Fleur of the Nile, click here.
Copyright © 2017 Barataria Communications, All rights reserved.
You are a VIP from Morgan Molthrop's cultural news and key players list.
Our mailing address is:
New Orleans Art Center
3330 St. Claude Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70117
Add us to your address book
Last minute gift woes? Run to the bookstore and pick up these titles
- Staff and wire reports
- DEC 28, 2015 - 10:10 AM
Subjects for coffee-table books run the gamut from dogs to decor, maps to music, television to travel. If the gift recipient has a hobby or special interest, chances are there’s a coffee-table book for that.
Here are a few suggestions:
“ La Fleur de Lis: Histories, Mysteries, Recipes and Mixologies of the World’s Most Enduring Symbol” by Morgan McCall Molthrop and Casey Delmont Johnson, Barataria Communications, $12.95
Small by coffee-table book standards (6½-by- 6¾ inches ) but full of beautiful photos, the book traces this ubiquitous symbol of Louisiana back to France, Italy and even ancient Egypt. The French term translates to “lily flower,” as the three upper and three lower portions resemble that bloom.
With the symbol turning up many places throughout history, its use as a branding symbol for slaves has brought recent controversy to the fleur, especially in New Orleans, where it came to represent a symbol of hope after Hurricane Katrina. No matter what, if any, side you take in this debate, chances are you’ll learn more about the fleur and its origins inside the pages of this little book.
On the lighter side, it also features a recipe for Muriel’s Fleur de Lis Cocktail, and others for gumbo and red beans.
— Judy Bergeron,
Features assistant editor
The Advocate Baton Rouge
Walker grad’s new book challenges history of fleur-de-lis
- Oct 6, 2016
A Walker native claims to have decoded the fleur-de-lis in a new book on the symbol.
Intrigued by the vast and oft disputed history that is traditionally accounted to the fleur-de-lis, Casey Delmont Johnson, a 2000 Walker High graduate, felt compelled to offer a new narrative, entitled “Fleur of the Nile: Remaking the Fleur-de-lis.”
As designer for Roux Brands in Port Allen, Johnson works with the symbol on a daily basis.
“After designing products with the fleur-de-lis for so long, eventually an aspect of the symbol struck me as foreign” Johnson said.
“The symbol seemed to contain a mystery element, and hidden in this element is an ancient heritage,” he said.
Johnson’s discovery claims to associate the fleur-de-lis with civilizations much older than that of France.
If correct, the history of the fleur-de-lis will have to be rewritten.
Every fleur-de-lis contains a clasp or gathering towards the center. It is denoted by a bold horizontal line.
“Most people overlook this aspect of the symbol entirely,” Johnson said, “and the French history of the icon simply does not provide an adequate explanation for this central element.”
Johnson claims that the clasp, noted in every fleur-de-lis, is a remnant from ancient human history.
He believes that as far back as 30,000 years ago or longer, people were using a primitive, natural form of the fleur-de-lis in their daily lives.
If proven correct, this new narrative would make the fleur-de-lis the oldest continuously used symbol in human history.
There are clues to this ancient heritage hidden within the capitol city. Even the Louisiana state capitol building references some of this lost history.
“Huey Long’s architect was certain to include peculiar elements within the grand monument in downtown Baton Rouge,” Johnson said. “If you look close enough, and sit at the right height, you’ll discover more.”
Johnson believes that the capitol was built at a peculiar height for a peculiar reason.
“The book unravels some of the meaning built into the building,” Johnson said.
These things are hidden in plain sight but contain vast arrays of layered meaning.
Johnson requested a formal essay by Dr. Darius Spieth of LSU’s Art History department to provide more credibility to his book.
“I wanted to include someone capable of writing an essay on the fleur-de-lis that was neutral and well within mainstream thought,” Johnson said.
The essay is included in the book and is entitled “A symbol between Legend and History.”
“Dr. Spieth’s essay captures the mystery of the fleur in a unique way,” Johnson said.
Rivers, ironically, play a crucial role in the narrative of the book.
“‘Remaking the Fleur-de-lis’ was finished in the midst of the recent flood,” Johnson said. “Whether the Nile, the Mississippi or the Amite, the theme of rivers prevailed throughout the project.”
Johnson believes that the idea of parallel rivers is an important one. “The book is a symbol of the flood to me, and the fleur reminds us of our own resilience. It is a powerful symbol that reflects a part of us.”
The official book launch of “Fleur of the Nile: Remaking the Fleur-de-lis” is Oct. 22.
The book is available now at Amazon.com and is available for wholesale purchase at RouxBrands.com.
For more information on the up-and-coming Roux Brands, visit their website.