Before Barbie…there were Seminole dolls! Dolls are having their cultural moment right now. But, did you know they have been an important and celebrated part of Seminole culture much longer than Barbie has even been around? This week, we will be exploring the beauty, simplicity, and impact of Seminole dolls. Seminoles have been making them for their children for generations. But, as Seminole tourism began to take off in the early 1900s, Seminole dolls and other crafts became important tourist commodities. We will also be shining a spotlight on the University of Florida Seminole doll collection and other South Florida collections. Much of these are online for your perusal! In our featured image this week you can see a young Seminole girl with a very early cloth head doll, circa 1900 (2001.32.1, ATTK Museum). Before the recognizable palmetto dolls you can still find today, Seminoles would make simple cloth or wooden
Welcome back to the second part of this month’s installment of Decades of Seminole Tourism. Last week, we gave a brief overview of the shifts in Seminole tourism from 1910-1920. This week, join us as we learn about the importance of Seminole dolls, their history, and how they embody Seminole resilience and resistance.