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Facial Features

Figure 1: Facial Features. Top row, left to right: simple face, complex face, wood carved face; bottom row, left to right: rag doll face, square-headed doll face, eyes looking sideways.
Figure 1: Facial Features. Top row, left to right: simple face, complex face, wood carved face; bottom row, left to right: rag doll face, square-headed doll face, eyes looking sideways.

Early palmetto dolls have complex and detailed faces, which could include embroidered eyes, eyebrows, noses, mouths, and even teeth. Most palmetto dolls have embroidered facial features of eyes and a mouth. Later dolls’ features became simple and generic, and include large eyes and a mouth. Other dolls, such as Rag and Skookum dolls, are made with eyes that look to the left or more commonly to the right. It has been written that when a doll looks to the right, it means good health, while those that gaze to the left represent misfortune.

Hairstyles

Hairstyles of the Seminole and Miccosukee women have varied throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, and these changes are reflected in the dolls they create. While it makes sense that the hairstyles could be use to date the dolls, it is not a reliable measure, because the doll maker chooses the style she likes for her dolls.  More information:

Wooden Doll Hairstyles

Figure 2: Post card of Seminole women's hairstyles (2013-6-7). Donated by Anne Reynolds.
Figure 2: Post card of Seminole women’s hairstyles (2013-6-7). Donated by Anne Reynolds.

Early 19th century male (Figure 3) and female (Figure 4) wooden dolls had carved and painted hair. These dolls showcase the bowl cut (male) and the twisted hair bun (female) of the hairstyle used in the early 1900s. Early dolls lacked detail, but later dolls began to have more shape and detail added to their hair. The female doll in Figure 5 exhibits the hair board shape. The wooden male doll in Figure 6 has a carved and painted turban on top of his head. These turbans, which have traditionally been worn by males since the 1800s, were made of woolen cloth. A man would wrap the woolen cloth around his knee to form the turban for his head. It is noted that in different areas turbans were either worn everyday (southernmost Miccosukee camps) and in others only on special occasions.

 

Figure 7: Photo of woman with rolled hairstyle and hairnet (23412). L. Winternitz Collection.
Figure 7: Photo of woman with rolled hairstyle and hairnet (23412). L. Winternitz Collection.

Yarn and Cloth Hairstyles

When palmetto dolls began to be produced (1918), their hair was made of black yarn. This yarn rolled hairstyle (Figure 8) was designed to represent women’s hairstyles during the 1920s (Figure 7). Women would push all their hair towards their foreheads then place a small rolled cloth behind their hair, they would then flip their hair back over, and secured the hair with a net or hairpins.  Some women in the late 1920s started to decorate their hairnets with beads, which can be seen in Figure 9. Another variation of the rolled hairstyle for dolls is with cloth (Figure 10). Male dolls have a basic bowl-cut hairstyle when it comes to yarn and cloth as can be seen in Figures 11 and 12.