Name: 1940s-1960s Black Cloth (Folk Art/Mammy/Rag Dolls)
Made by and When: Handmade by unknown makers
Material: Black cloth, cotton stuffing, yarn, muslin, cotton print fabric for clothing
Height: 29, 14, and 10 inches
Hair, Eyes, Mouth: Loops of yarn frame the top of the head and sides of the face of the 29- and 14-inch dolls; five braids that defy gravity are atop the 10-inch doll’s head. The eyes and mouth of the 29- and 14-inch dolls were made with embroidery thread stitches. The 10-inch doll has embroidered eyes but does not have a mouth. Colorful fabric ribbons are tied around the hair of the 29- and 10-inch dolls.
Clothes: Circa 1960s 29-inch doll inspired by Raggedy Ann wears a red and white heart-print dress, an off-white muslin pinafore with a stuffed fabric heart made from the dress fabric that is stitched to the bodice of the pinafore, and off-white muslin pantaloons.
Circa 1940s 14-inch doll wears a sewn-on tan and beige floral-print dress, a blue and white plaid apron, and white cotton pantaloons.
Circa 1960s 10-inch doll wears a blue and white houndstooth dress, white apron, and blue and white heart-print pantaloons.
Other: Handmade black Raggedy Ann and folk-art black cloth/rag dolls were made with or without patterns from remnants of cloth (or household rags) to represent the makers’ impression of storybook characters or the mammy caricature.
Your comments are valued. Donations aid the initiative to preserve Black-doll history.
If you subscribe to DeeBeeGee’s Virtual Black Doll Museum™ by email, click the post title in the email, which links to the website to view all text and associated media. Please “like” and share this installation with your social media contacts. Add your email address to the subscribe or sign-up field in the footer or right sidebar.