Elbana Amoureuse was actually born Juanita Moreno, and emigrated to Miami from Cuba at the age of six in the early 1920's. At 15 she was discovered by the famed Hollywood director William James Kingsley, who was taking a break from overseeing the construction of his waterfront mansion to tour the local citrus orchards. He convinced her parents to let him take her under his wing and give her "acting lessons", save her from a life of orange picking and make her into a star. The first thing he did was change her name and make up a story to the press about her mysterious middle eastern parentage, claiming she was the long lost daughter of Mata Hari. Her sultry voice and sad eyes made her an overnight sensation, and within a year she headlining such films as Desert Diamonds and The Persian Hourglass. Her relationship with William James Kingsley blossomed into romance, and they were married shortly before the war. Unfortunately, he was notoriously jealous and unfaithful, and in 1939 Elbana famously threatened to leave him during a press conference for their eighth film together, Moroccan Medusa. During a cruise to Hawaii she was tragically and mysteriously drowned in a storm, and although Kingsley was cleared of all suspicious charges, he never worked in Hollywood again.
Elbana's handmade modacrylic wig is three different tones of brown and curled into thick ringlets. Her skin is dyed "blush" muslin and her iridescent silk dress is hand embroidered and cut from different sections of an antique indian sari. Her headdress is made from vintage glass, ukranian crystal, and silk flowers. The ensemble is a replica from the last film she completed that was released posthumously, for which she was also nominated for an Oscar - The Blood Rose of Baghdad.
Elbana is available for purchase through the Ochi Gallery.