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Last updated November 25, 2008
||A doll is a child's toy that represents
a baby or other human being, but includes likenesses of animals and imaginary
creatures. Dolls have been around since the dawn of human civilization,
and have been fashioned from a vast array of materials, ranging from stone,
clay, wood, bone, cloth and paper, to porcelain, china, rubber and plastic.
While dolls have traditionally been
toys for children, they are also collected by adults, for their nostalgic
value, beauty, historical importance or financial value. In ancient times,
dolls were used as representations of a deity, and played a central role
in religious ceremonies and rituals. Lifelike or anatomically correct dolls
are used by health professionals, medical schools and social workers to
train doctors and nurses in various health procedures or investigate cases
of sexual abuse of children. Artists sometimes use jointed wooden mannequins
in drawing the human figure. Action figures representing superheroes and
their predecessors, action dolls, are particularly popular among boys.
Baby dolls, paper dolls, talking dolls, fashion dolls - the list is almost
|Archaeological evidence places dolls
as foremost candidate for oldest known toy, having been found in Egyptian
tombs which date to as early as 2000 BC. In Egypt, as well as Greece and
Rome, it was common to find them in the graves of children. Most were made
of wood, although pottery dolls were buried with children from wealthier
families. Dolls with movable limbs and removable clothing date back to
Europe later became the center of dollmaking.
In the United States, dollmaking became an industry in the 1860s, after
the Civil War. The development of plastics after World War II meant that
new and cheaper forms of dolls were marketed. In Japan and South Korea,
fashion doll collecting and customization is now a significant industry,
and is participated in by adults of both genders.
Dolls have featured strongly in modern
art and fine art photography, notably in surrealist works. The "evil doll"
has become a staple feature of horror literature, horror films and animation
since the 1950s.
||History of The American GirlŪ dolls
|Jan McLean Design/Vinyl Doll