Front Porch

Front Porch SC 9.1-Front Porch 2/6/03 11:01 AM Page 4 There used to be a kind of rag doll you could find in playrooms and on display in the homes of whimsical southern collectors. The one I remember clearest be- longed to the only female doctor I knew and sat on a kitchen shelf beside the cookbooks. At first glance (depending on the owner’s mood, that is) it appeared to depict a conventional white maiden with blond braids, a muslin frock, and a rosebud simper that gave no hint of mystery. But if you peered beneath her hems, a prying child would find an upside down torso, with head and arms where the feet should be. If you flipped the skirt entirely over the white doll’s head, a black doll emerged, clad in an equally conventional head wrap, apron, and gingham work dress. Some versions gave a purse or bouquet to the white doll and a wooden spoon to her black counterpart, underscoring the social roles of each. Together, the two represented maid and mistress, literally joined at the hip. above: In “My Twentieth Century,” preeminent historian Anne Firor Scott celebrates her eightieth birthday by looking back on the South, the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Southern Cultures University of North Carolina Press

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 Center for the Study of the American South.
ISSN
1534-1488

Abstract

SC 9.1-Front Porch 2/6/03 11:01 AM Page 4 There used to be a kind of rag doll you could find in playrooms and on display in the homes of whimsical southern collectors. The one I remember clearest be- longed to the only female doctor I knew and sat on a kitchen shelf beside the cookbooks. At first glance (depending on the owner’s mood, that is) it appeared to depict a conventional white maiden with blond braids, a muslin frock, and a rosebud simper that gave no hint of mystery. But if you peered beneath her hems, a prying child would find an upside down torso, with head and arms where the feet should be. If you flipped the skirt entirely over the white doll’s head, a black doll emerged, clad in an equally conventional head wrap, apron, and gingham work dress. Some versions gave a purse or bouquet to the white doll and a wooden spoon to her black counterpart, underscoring the social roles of each. Together, the two represented maid and mistress, literally joined at the hip. above: In “My Twentieth Century,” preeminent historian Anne Firor Scott celebrates her eightieth birthday by looking back on the South, the

Journal

Southern CulturesUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Mar 31, 2003

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