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(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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As with many other toys in the 19th century, family members or friends often made cloth dolls for children rather than purchasing them. In this case, an aunt made "Diana" for her young Medford, Massachusetts, niece. Dolls provided young girls an opportunity to practice essential sewing skills as they made clothes for them. They also instilled nurturing behavior as girls cared for their "children." The race of this doll also suggests the early age at which society in this period made children aware of racial differences and gender roles.
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