The Historical Factor of Dolls

I wasn’t going to post until next week because I’m trying to concentrate on my manuscripts.  But I just got a notification from WordPress that it’s the one year anniversary of this blog. So I thought I’d pop on here for a moment to say Happy Anniversary to me, um, Writer Site.

While I’m on here, I thought I’d make a few more points about dolls. This time it’s history, not creepiness.

  • The word doll may come from the Greek word for idol: eidolon. This reminds us that one of the purposes of early dolls was in religion.
  • Most ancient and modern cultures have had dolls, although they were not always children’s toys.
  • Dolls have been made from every material you can imagine.
  • No dolls have survived from prehistoric times, but there are museum examples from the major ancient cultures, such as Egyptian, Greek, etc.
  • Any model of a human being can be viewed as a doll of sorts.
  • Technically, stuffed animals are not dolls, but when I realized that Koko the Gorilla views stuffed gorillas as dolls, I saw how human-centric our thinking is.
  • Dolls look as different from each other as people do from each other.
  • Here’s a link to a basic history of dolls.

Ming Ming by the Quan Quan Company

Mattel’s Ken and wardrobe in Ken doll case


Filed under Books, Creative Nonfiction, Dolls, Essay, Nonfiction, Poetry, Writing

35 responses to “The Historical Factor of Dolls

  1. Human-centric we are…aren’t we the worst?

    Happy anniversary to your wonderful blog. Now go manuscript! Cake is for later!

  2. Love the etymology of the word doll. And Koko’s perpective! We are indeed so human-centric! Great stuff! Renee


  3. Happy blogiversary! And may you meet with success in your manuscript work.

    • Luanne

      Jennifer, thank you so much. I actually had an idea for the memoir the other day and am pursuing that idea, hoping it will work.

  4. Wilma Kahn

    Happy anniversary, Writer Site!
    Great info here. I can see the connection between dolls and idols.

  5. Happy Anniversary! Do you know what year the Ken doll was made in your photo? He doesn’t look anything like the one I had…tan, muscular, taller and I think his hair was darker.

    • Luanne

      Thank you! Jill, this is where the creepy comes in. To find out how old a Ken is, you have to examine his right butt cheek. Yup. If he was “born” in, I think, 1976 or before, the date will be there. Later, the date is maybe on his back. My Ken is from 1960. And he’s wearing his baseball uniform in honor of the World Series ;).

  6. Happy Anniversary!!!! I was visiting my aunt in her antique shop a couple weeks ago and had fun playing with a doll in a case much like Ken’s. I don’t recall having these kinds of dolls. Can’t recall the doll’s name…

  7. Happy Anniversary! Takes dedication!

  8. I love Ming Ming, but that’s to be expected as mom of a girl adopted from China.

    • Luanne

      Ming Ming is adorable. I have another one, too, and the costume is in different colors. In fact, I have a pretty good collection of Asian dolls. I even have a Door of Hope. My favorites are the Michael Lee composition dolls. Those are Chinese dolls. My kids are Korean, and I have a few Korean dolls, but more Chinese and Japanese.

  9. Very nice Luann. Happy day my friend. XO – Sheri

  10. Happy Anniversary to your blog 🙂 Very interesting to read your posts about dolls, I always loved dolls and was quite sad when I grew too old for them 🙁

  11. Happy anniversary! Keep up the good work.

  12. Happy Birthday! So glad you’re blogging, so I can follow along! Write on!

  13. Dolls are one of my favorite things of my mother and my times together! I liked making doll clothes, even had a brother who made me a bed and another who made me a piano with wooden scraps, they sanded, stained and varnished them. I like your Ken doll and his wardrobe. I only had an Alan doll, don’t know why? But friends would bring their Barbies and Kens over, all fun memories. I love the older ones, like the bisque and ceramic, rag dolls and this post was great!
    This was very informative!
    Happy one year anniversary, Luanne!

    • Luanne

      Oh me, too, the old dolls! But the best stuff is the handmade clothes and furniture. Those are where I really get sentimental, thinking about them. I think a new post is percolating in my head! Thanks, Robin!!!

  14. Memories of Ken and his black and white slip on shoes! Joy!

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