Made by and When: Leasa “Tutu” Souza, 2021
Material: Papier-mâché head with painted composition arms and legs, and a cloth body
Marks: Tutu (on the back)
Height: 21 inches
Hair, Eyes, Mouth: Texturized papier-mâché black hair with curls in the front, brown glass eyes from Germany, pouty down-turned mouth with three tears streaming from eyes onto cheeks—one on the right cheek and two on the left.
Clothes/Accessories: Dressed in a Victorian child’s gown, wears antique undies, and has a large white bow in the hair; in the last two photos, an antique pin that reads “Baby” is in the top center of Olympia’s dress.
Other: Leasa “Tutu” Souza is a self-taught doll artist from Arkansas. She is of Cherokee Indian descent and is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation. After hearing Leo Moss’s story and winning two original Moss dolls in a Theriault’s auction, Tutu fell in love with Leo Moss and his doll art.
Made while watching the women’s gymnastics during the 2021 Olympics, Tutu explained, “Olympia was made by using a rescued vintage composition doll… giving her love, new life, and saving the planet one doll at a time.”
“I name [my dolls] with meaning, something during the pandemic as they are pandemic creations and I want to connect it together in a meaningful way giving a glimpse of this time in our history.” —Leasa “Tutu” Souza
Gallery (Photographs courtesy of Leasa “Tutu” Souza.)
“The Healing Power of Dolls and Tears” by Leasa “Tutu” Souza, Antique Doll Collector, November/December 2021.
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