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Porcelain Mammy Doll. Series I, Box 1

16½” high and 7½” wide



Mixed medium porcelain

The "Mammy" is a figure from the history of United States slavery. The female African-American slaves were tasked with the duties of domestic household workers. This tradition continued well after slavery as many African-American women had their first jobs as domestic help. The "Mammy" image was: An older woman, dark skinned, overweight, whose job it was to prepare meals, clean homes, and nurse and rear children. She was an idealized figure of a caregiver, amiable, loyal, maternal, non-threatening, obedient, and submissive, and demonstrated deference to white authority. This figure is still present in modern times with Mrs. Butterworth's and Aunt Jemima used by food corporations. This doll is of medium to heavy set build, has bulging eyes, large dark lips, and a medium brown complexion. She wears a bandana, plaid clothes, and an apron, to show that she is a kitchen worker. This doll was made in the 1950’s the height of the African-American domestic worker era.


Collectibles, African-American, Africa, Art, History