Role playing is one of the favorite pastimes enjoyed by children. Here they explore their imagination when choosing characters that they would like to portray. With the Topsy Turvy Dolls’ Availability it wouldn’t be that difficult to transform from one character to another.
Made of cotton and fabrics; interestingly the topsy turvy dolls were created with dual identity, with one head constructed at each end of the dolls but the other end is concealed by a reversible skirt made of a coarse cloth with bright print called calico. When playing and changing of characters the long full skirt would need to be pulled down to conceal the other feature of the doll thus revealing a different identity.
History considers the origin of these dolls both controversial and interesting. Several documentation points out that the first topsy turvy dolls was created before the Civil War in the Southern United States region. It is where most plantations are located and where slavery is believed to be prominent. Most of the dolls back then would have one head featuring a black doll which could represent a maid or slave and the other end a white doll which would portray the master. Speculations vary for the reason behind the creation of these double ended dolls. Whether they were made for the slave children who were not allowed to play with their black dolls, in doing so they would flip it over to the white dolls to play with when their masters are around, Or if they were created for the white children to use the black dolls as a maid for their other dolls.
Even if a number of arguments surround the history of these topsy turvy dolls, they are still unique. Several characters from story books, fairy tales and nursery rhymes are based from these dolls. They are also considered tools to show the differences between characters, from good to bad, rich from poor and so on.
The manufacturing of these dolls dates back in the 1970s, mostly made from the mountain regions of North Carolina. Popular designs created from characters such as Goldilocks and the three bears, red riding hood and the bad wolf and several others. A book featuring these dolls was also published in 1977 by John Coyne and Jerry Miller titled “How to make Upside-Down Dolls”. In the mid 1900s companies began producing patterns of their own version of topsy turvy dolls. These companies include: Betsy McCall, Vogart, Redline and Butterwick.
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