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Mother Doll With Baby

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Mother Doll With Baby
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Mother Doll With Baby


Handmade, West African, African mother doll, stuffed nylon doll


Handmade doll made from dark brown nylon stuffed with unknown material. Hand-stitched eyes, eyebrows, and mouth with black thread. Multicolored, floral-patterned spandex cloth headwrap, white spandex dress with small purple, tan, dark brown, and yellow geometric accents. Golden corduroy waist wrap, stitched together with white thread. white cotton cloth underwear and wrap, holding small featureless baby on back of mother doll. Baby also made of the same dark nylon as mother doll, matching floral headwrap. Mother doll holds a small blue corduroy satchel, with cream-colored cloth handle with sage green accents.




Post 1950s, possibly early 1960s


Melissa Ladd, Gift of Chris Seidman


Mother doll 6.5" tall, ~2.5" wide elbow to elbow
Baby doll 1" tall, 1/2" wide


Still image


This is a handmade doll, created with materials appearing to be mid-20th century, possibly the
1950s or 1960s. She has a clear connection to West African culture. The maker of the doll was
familiar with the style of dress that women in West Africa wore and still wear today. This
mamma doll is especially sweet with a small baby in a matching headscarf tucked against her
back. Carrying a baby on one’s back, secured with a pagne (a length of hemmed cloth wrapped
around the body) that matches the mother’s skirt is a common Pan African practice throughout
history and today. She carries a small handmade bag that reflects the handmade bags used by
women to carry market goods home or by schoolchildren to carry books. It is unknown whether
the doll was made in West Africa, or if it was a doll made in representation of that region.

MLA Citation

Unknown, “Mother Doll With Baby,” Student Digital Gallery, accessed January 24, 2022,