Seminole dolls portray clothing and hairstyles worn by traditional Seminole men and women, with cotton “patchwork” cloth wrapped around palmetto fiber bodies. The Museum’s doll collection is among the largest in the world, many gifted by Anne and Charles Reynolds.
This pair of dolls, which was donated by Anne and Charles Reynolds, is an example of the traditional palmetto-fiber doll. The male wears a traditional long shirt, a kerchief and a turban. Unlike female dolls, males have arms, legs and feet, so they are more difficult to make. The female doll wears a skirt and a cape, and has a beaded necklace and silverwork, and a traditional hair board. The women wore their hair long and stretched it over a cardboard hair board. Beyond aesthetic appearances, the hair board also provided some shade while the women worked. Both dolls sport beautiful outfits and each has two bands of patchwork.
Curator, South Florida Archaeology & Ethnography
Director, Randell Research Center
Florida Museum of Natural History
Made by Seminole artists, South Florida
Dates to 1930–1950
Gift of Anne and Charles Reynolds