Skookum Indian Twins Dolls

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Here’s the last of my Skookum Dolls postings.  If you wish to see the “Mother and Papoose” Skookum doll and the Skookum “Indian Boy” doll, please go to my May 13th, 2012 and August 4th, 2012 postings.

These sweet faced composition twins were made in the middle to late 1940’s. The Skookum Indian Boy stands 6.5 inches tall and his twin sister stands 6 inches tall.

By the middle to late 1940’s, the moccasins/boots/shoes that were once covered in painted paper, leather or suede gave way to molded plastic. Instead of the old paper labels, the “Trade Mark Reg. Skookum Bully Good Indian Patented U.S.A.” was molded in the plastic. Headbands that were once leather/suede were exchanged for a shiny plastic tape.

The rest of the materials used to make the dolls remained the same: painted molded heads with painted features; short blunt-cut black mohair wigs; paper and cloth wrapped bodies. Felt fringed leggings, wool shirt and wool flannel blanket wrap for the boy. Floral print shirt and skirt and wool flannel blanket wrap for the girl.

It appears these Skookum twins were mailed as a gift from the Navajo-Hopi Trading Co. in Flagstaff, Arizona to a Mrs. Harry Hall of Lake Charles, Louisiana (see photo back of box: July 11, 1949). As you can see, these dolls have not been properly stored as shoes are covered in mildew, clothing is moth eaten and the straw stuffing is showing through the back of the boy’s head. A few beads remain from necklaces worn around the necks of both dolls.

Skookum History:
Skookum dolls were composition dolls handmade by Mary McAboy between 1913 and 1920. These dolls resembled Native American people of various tribes.

Mary, who was inspired by the apple head Indian dolls her mother made, decided to make her own little apple head Indian village. The figures were set up in the display window of a local grocery store. Astounded with their successful sales, Mary filed to register trademark the name SKOOKUM in 1917.

The word Skookum is an old slang term still used today in the Northwest Territory of the United States. The word originated from the Chinook or Siwash traders of the American Northwest and has a few meanings. Ask any Northwesterner and they will tell you that Skookum means “Excellent,” “Mighty,” or “Very Good” and to Mary McAboy these little dolls were “Bully Good!”

Skookum’s became so popular and to keep up with the demand, Mary McAboy went into business with H.H. Tammen Co. of Denver, Colorado in 1920. These factory made Skookum dolls (1920’s through the early 1960’s), came in a variety of sizes (2″ souvenir mailers to 3 foot store displays) and styles to represent various tribes, customs and dress. The Skookums were usually sold in tourist spots.

Mary oversaw the production of these dolls for approximately 38 years, and retired in 1952.  She passed away in Denver, Colorado at the age of eighty-four on January 3, 1961.

Enjoy!

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Skookum Indian Boy Doll

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Here’s another one of my Skookum dolls.  If you wish to see the Mother and Papoose Skookum doll, please go to my May 13th, 2012 posting.

This sweet faced circa 1930/1940 composition Skookum Indian Boy stands 6.5 inches tall.

Other Details: painted molded head with painted features; short blunt-cut black mohair wig; paper and cloth wrapped wood body. Leather boots painted with orange and turquoise lines; yellow felt fringed leggings; yellow flower print shirt front; blue, orange, yellow and grey wool flannel blanket wrap. Partial paper oval tag on bottom of left foot reads “TRADE MARK REGISTERED” around border, sunrise drawing over “SKOOKUM (BULLY GOOD) INDIAN” in center.

Skookum dolls were composition dolls handmade by Mary McAboy between 1913 and 1920. These dolls resembled Native American people of various tribes.

Mary, who was inspired by the apple head Indian dolls her mother made, decided to make her own little apple head Indian village. The figures were set up in the display window of a local grocery store. Astounded with their successful sales, Mary filed to register trademark the name SKOOKUM in 1917.

The word Skookum is an old slang term still used today in the Northwest Territory of the United States. The word originated from the Chinook or Siwash traders of the American Northwest and has a few meanings. Ask any Northwesterner and they will tell you that Skookum means “Excellent,” “Mighty,” or “Very Good” and to Mary McAboy these little dolls were “Bully Good!”

Skookum’s became so popular and to keep up with the demand, Mary McAboy went into business with H.H. Tammen Co. of Denver, Colorado in 1920. These factory made Skookum dolls (1920’s through the early 1960’s), came in a variety of sizes (2″ souvenir mailers to 3 foot store displays) and styles to represent various tribes, customs and dress. The Skookums were usually sold in tourist spots.

Mary oversaw the production of these dolls for approximately 38 years, and retired in 1952.  She passed away in Denver, Colorado at the age of eighty-four on January 3, 1961.

Enjoy!

Happy Mother’s Day! Mother and Papoose Skookum Doll

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Another departure from clothespin dolls but I couldn’t resist sharing with you this beautiful Mother and Papoose Skookum Doll. It just seemed so fitting for Mother’s Day!

Skookum dolls were composition dolls handmade by Mary McAboy between 1913 and 1920. These dolls resembled Native American people of various tribes.

Mary, who was inspired by the apple head Indian dolls her mother made, decided to make her own little apple head Indian village. The figures were set up in the display window of a local grocery store. Astounded with their successful sales, Mary filed to register trademark the name SKOOKUM in 1917.

The word Skookum is an old slang term still used today in the Northwest Territory of the United States. The word originated from the Chinook or Siwash traders of the American Northwest and has a few meanings. Ask any Northwesterner and they will tell you that Skookum means “Excellent,” “Mighty,” or “Very Good” and to Mary McAboy these little dolls were “Bully Good!”

Skookum’s became so popular and to keep up with the demand, Mary McAboy went into business with H.H. Tammen Co. of Denver, Colorado in 1920. These factory made Skookum dolls (1920’s through the early 1960’s), came in a variety of sizes (2″ souvenir mailers to 3 foot store displays) and styles to represent various tribes, customs and dress. The Skookums were usually sold in tourist spots.

Mary McAboy oversaw the production of the Skookum dolls for approximately 38 years and retired in 1952. She passed away in Denver, Colorado at the age of eighty-four in 1961.

The original Mary McAboy handmade Skookum dolls heads were made from dried apples which changed to composition when they went into factory production. Skookum’s didn’t have arms but were wrapped with folded blankets so it looked like they had folded arms. Bodies/torsos were made of wood with straw, grass, twigs, leaves stuffed and sewn into a muslin sack. Legs were made of wooden dowel rods. Shoes, feet or moccasins were made with felt, leather or suede over wood. Hair was made of mohair or cotton string. These dolls were adorned with blankets, jewelry and other accessories. In later productions, the Skookum dolls heads, bodies, shoes and feet were made of plastic.

Enjoy!

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

Indian Maiden & Brave Corn Cob Dolls

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A bit of a departure here from my clothespin dolls but I’d like to share with you some of the other dolls I have made.

Here’s a fun, easy and quick project for the leftover decorative Indian corncobs you might purchase for your home in the Autumn.

I made these dolls several years ago. They hold up well.

Everything here is recycled. Even the wood base was made from scrap wood from my husband’s shop.

Materials
Robes: Bandanas
Robe Ties: Scrap Suede with sterling & turquoise (from broken or part of missing earrings)
Hair: Yarn braided with Scrap Suede
Headbands: Scrap Suede. Glued on Beads (from broken necklace)
Base: Scrap wood with nail.

Enjoy!