Museum logo

Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Accession number 1999.54
Catalog Number 1999.54.1
Object Name Doll
Description Man-on-horseback style doll. The main and horse are made from palmetto husk fiber. The man is riding on the back of the horse and is dressed in a patchwork big shirt. The bigshirt is made from plain weave cotton fabric and ric-rac. There are "reigns" tied to the horse's nose and the man's hands. The man has a floral cotton wrapped turban over his hair, which is indicated by black cotton fabric. The doll's eyes and mouth are formed with stitches of yarn. A light blue cotton scarf is tied around the doll's neck. The horse body is stitched together with cotton thread and a smooth yarn (similar to artificial sinew).

Dorothy Downs, "Art of the Florida Seminole and Miccosukee Indians", page 217-9. "The "man on horseback" doll - a male doll with black cloth hair dressed in a big shirt and seated on a horse made of palmetto husk - became popular in the 1940s (fig 9.3). This style of doll probably owes its existence to the cattle-raising industry, which had proven successful on the drier land of the Brighton Reservation. In 1941 Indian leaders from the Big Cypress Reservation requested that cattle also be made available to them, and so they too were launched into the cattle business in a limited way (Kersey 1989, 129). This in turn led to admiration for cowboys. The "man-on-horseback" doll was probably devised about the same time as the patchwork design of the same name that Deaconess Bedell referred to in June 1941 (Bedell 1941)."
Artist Maggie Osceola
Dimensions H-11.5 W-6 L-11 inches
Collection Dolls
Imagefile 006\1999541.JPG