I started this topsy-turvy doll many years ago,
but finished dressing it just this week.
The doll combines both a black and a white lady;
this is the oldest theme for topsy-turvey dolls in
the United States. The doll, however, is contemporary
because of how it is dressed. Originally, African American
slaves made topsy-turvey dolls in America to represent
one side as a “mammy” (or nanny) and the
other end as a white child.
Both of these characters are social equals.
The only difference in their dress is in the season that
their clothing is adapted for.
I added a braid at the back of my black doll’s head
for texture and variety.
A detail shot of my black doll’s face.
A detail shot of the winter garment.
My white doll end is dressed for spring.
Her hair is silkier; I believe that I made the wig from
angora, but, I no longer remember what this material is.
A close-up shot of her dress. I recycled a blouse belonging
to one of my daughters for this costume.
Here is the completed white doll, with her skirt pulled down.
An original topsy-turvy doll; this one was cut by hand and sewn without
a pattern folks. The faces are painted with acrylic and
sealed with an acrylic varnish.
- This Steve Jobs-Inspired iCEO Doll Is “Insanely Great” (cultofmac.com)
- Interview by A Local Press, me also