I have a doll collection, started by my mother when she was little, and added to since. Many of the dolls are foreign, brought as presents to show the native dress of places to which our family has traveled. However, there are some dolls unique to America. I have faceless Amish dolls, dolls made from corn husks, and apple face dolls in prairie bonnets. I also have some “Mammy” dolls – representing an old archetype of African American women from the American south, where my mother grew up. An English friend at work was recently talking about her Mammy doll collection, so I took these pictures to show her my little group. Like Hattie McDaniel in Gone with the Wind, or the original image of Aunt Jemima, several of my dolls wear head scarves. One wears an elegant silk dress with pantaloons and a slip under and fancy leather shoes, another has lace trim on her long dress. Two are much more simply dressed. Three wear head scarves.
19 February 2014 update: I was interested to notice the similar head coverings of my antique and vintage Mammy dolls to the new mother doll I just bought in Rwanda. I picked out this doll because I particularly liked the fancy hair on her baby. Their clothes are made of cloth from Congo (DRC):
Images 2012-2014 Copyright by Katy Dickinson