Millennia ago, wise mothers stitched rag dolls to help assuage the fears of their growing daughters, a common practice in the known world. The British Museum displays such a creation made of coarse linen and stuffed with rags and papyrus; it was entombed with the remains of a little girl and dates from the first to the fifth centuries in the Common Era.

Egyptian papyri also describe young girls, on the threshold of becoming women, ritually sacrificing their rag dolls to the goddess.

And a review of our country’s history also reveals the prominent place of rag dolls: the faceless ones made of flat pieces of wood in Plymouth, Massachusetts; the cornhusk dolls of the Amish; the topsy-turnabout rag dolls among southern slaves; the spoon dolls of prairie settlers. Presumably, these doll-carriers became mothers and provided for their daughters in a similar way.

Although we parade around as adults, fears still set us on edge, even swamp us at times. To whom or what do we cling, until unspooked?

My rag doll keeps me company atop my fridge and laughs!

She resembles the Fool on the Hill.

 

 

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