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Native American Skookum Dolls

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    Posted 12 years ago

    (123 items)

    I wanted to share my collection of Skookum Dolls that were purchased about 30 years ago from a lady who got them from some Native Americans. I am not sure how old they are but I think they are from the 1930s.

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    1. Manikin Manikin, 12 years ago
      Very nice collection ! How Tall is the tallest ones ?
      The history of Skookum dolls starts with Mary McAboy filing two applications for patents for a doll or toy figure on November 29, 1913. The patents were granted on February 17, 1914. One of the applications was for a male and the other a female and in three styles - a male doll, a female doll, a female doll with a baby.

      The dolls started to become so popular that Mary McAboy partnered with H.H. Tammen Co. of Denver, Colorado in 1920 to keep up with the demand. She stayed on and was the head of the Skookum Assembly Division. The look of the doll stayed the same but some of the materials used to make them changed and plastic and some other materials were used. They were factory made dolls from the 1920's - 1960's that resembled Native American people and were usually sold in tourist spots

      Skookum dolls came in a variety of sizes and styles to represent various tribes, customs and dress. From 2" souvenir mailers to 3 foot store displays.

      Skookums don't have arms but were wrapped with Indian style folded blankets so that it looked like they had folded arms. Some had jewelry like earrings or bead necklaces, papooses, hair ties, cigarettes, headbands, kerchiefs, feathered headdresses and more. They will usually have the words "Skookum" stamped on the bottom of the plastic shoes or come with a tag that says "Skookum". Most Skookum dolls were made so they look to the right. Some look to the left but are pretty rare and hard to find.
      Thanks for sharing them !
    2. rocker-sd rocker-sd, 12 years ago
      Thanks Maniken, thats a lot of information! Now what is throwing me off with this collection is the tall man and woman with leather hands??? I have several skookums, including two 36" dolls. All have Blankets and no hands. Do you think these have been redressed or are factory originals?
    3. emersonestates, 12 years ago
      These came from a store display, I have an original letter from the previous owner that I found. Check it out
    4. Manikin Manikin, 12 years ago
      Yes the large ones are store displays ! Amazing to have them ! keep out of dust and moisture changes to preserve them . Love love them .

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