Golly!

THE OWNER of Twisted Sisterz says she will continue to sell golliwogs in her High Street shop in Fremantle, despite a customer being incensed by the controversial dolls.

Britt Gintzburger, 44, was in the boho store when she saw the gollis and blew a gasket.

“There is nothing positive about these dolls at all,” she says.

“They remind me of the minstrel show and we all know how vulgar that was.

“Put you yourself in the shoes of Aboriginal and black people—how would they feel?

“I was quite shocked. Sisterz is quite a cool shop. These dolls seemed totally out of place.”

• Golliwogs on sale in Twisted Sisterz.

• Golliwogs on sale in Twisted Sisterz.

Sisterz owner Renate Jamieson says that since opening 15 months ago she’s had only two complaints.

“These dolls are very popular. Only a few days ago a young hippy couple bought one for their baby,” she says.

“I’ve been selling these dolls for 10 years and loads have been bought by Aboriginals and people from Papua New Guinea.

“I am not a racist and have no intent to offend anyone whatsoever. When I was young my family were quite poor and I had a golliwog which I loved.

“There’s a lot of nostalgia for people with these dolls.”

Ms Jamieson, who makes some of the dolls, says she has only had three complaints about the dolls in more than a decade.

The golliwog first appeared in children’s adventure books in the late 19th century.

The character was initially described as “a horrid sight, the blackest gnome”, but it turns out to be a friendly character with a “kind face”.

After the book became successful, the market was flooded with golliwog dolls.

In recent times the doll’s image has become extremely divisive: some feel it is a symbol of reviled racist stereotyping, while others view it as harmless nostalgia.

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

 

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