The practice of making figurines of people can be traced as far back as 25,000 years. The Venus of Willendorf, a stone figurine about four inches high, thought to be a fertility charm of nomadic European tribal people from that time, is about this old. The use of dolls as toys for children have been recorded as far back as 100 A.D., in Greece, and the mass production of dolls made out of porcelain or plastic began around the 15th century. Dolls were usually smaller representations of people, so children could naturally act out scenes of caretaking as if the doll were a smaller and younger child or infant. Other play-acting scenes would cast the dolls’ owner or owners as the directors of the dolls actions. Still other play-acting scenes would have the dolls’ owner involved directly in the scene, treating the dolls as tangible though imaginary friends.
In the 1950’s, in America, most dolls on the market were modeled after infants. One Ruth Handler noticed that her daughter would give grown-up roles to the dolls that she played with. Seeing a potential demand for a different kind of doll, Mrs. Handler pitched the idea to her husband, Elliot Handler, co-founder of one of the leading toy production companies Mattel, and the best-selling doll in the Western world today was born. The Handlers named it after their daughter, Barbara - the Barbie doll.
The lyrics and subject of some nursery rhyme and childrens song refer to dolls. Some of these nursery rhymes and childrens songs include;
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