Thursday, August 30, 2012

Juju dolls!

Have you ever heard of a poppet? They are small, hand made dolls typically fashioned out of rags or even sticks and grass. These figures are sometimes intended to represent actual people and can contain personal items from that individual. They're used in folk magic, spell casting and effecting outcomes of the future. Sound familiar? Poppets are more (in)famously known by their other name, Voodoo Dolls.

I don't really like using the term voodoo doll because it has such negative connotations attached to it. When you think of Voodoo, it usually brings up visions of an evil witch doctor dressed as a crazy skeleton, ritualistically sticking pins into little crude dolls shaped like their enemies to cause them agony. Of course, this is an overblown stereotype made up by fantastical literature and Hollywood. The truth behind these misunderstood dolls is far less sinister.

Voodoo priestess from Hollywood...Brush YO TEETH!
I became initially interested in creating my own poppets after I realized that I was at a crossroads in my personal life.  Bad relationships, unnecessary stress and general illness have all been very disorienting recently. It's lead me to search for new, more positive answers to my problems. One way I like to "regain control" of my life is through meditation and forward thinking.

I am not a particularly religious person in the fact that I believe in one specific institution,  but I can say that I truly believe that we all have some sort of hidden magic will power inside that we can use to alter the environment around us. Have you ever wished for something so hard that it actually came true? Same idea. Poppets/Voodoo dolls have been used for centuries as focusing tools in this kind of magic, and they still serve their purpose as good today as they did 100 years ago.

I decided to divulge my mystical fantasies and make a few poppets of my own. They're inspired by a mix of traditional and contemporary voodoo doll styles and I adore their whimsical personalities. I created them with the thought in mind that each one was intended for a unique individual with specific needs in their life. These dolls can be used for focusing your energies on manifesting good fortune, healing, achieving goals, finding true love or improving certain aspects of yourself.
Don't make voodoo dolls that are
intended to harm or control others.

Before I go on, I have to reiterate that my poppets are not intended for evil use. Yes, they can be used in this way, but like attracts like and you will end up with just as much pain and suffering as your victim. You are also doing it wrong if you are trying to control a person's feelings or actions based off your own selfish needs (like, for example, casting a love spell on your crush so that they are forced to love you) because it's never OK to take away a person's free will... and these kind of deals always seem to back fire anyways.

Oh, and yes, each doll has an awesome back story to go with it.  
I'd like to think it helps to focus your energies!

Material girl

 Material Girl is a free spirited and care free. She probably likes to go to parties and meet new people, and is always up for an adventure. Those she meets are enchanted by her beauty, and good fortune follows her wherever she goes. This doll would be perfect for someone who wishes to be more outgoing, or even for someone who wants to attract this kind of person into their lives. 

She was the first poppet I attempted to make and is definitely one of my favorites. I decided to give her a beachy boho look after noticing her lovely tan and gold color scheme. Her shiny crystal eyes are actually made from some recycled earrings I found, and the clothing is made of ribbons. 

The hair is actually my favorite part of this doll. It's brown yarn that's been hand sewn into her head. This particular yarn turned out to be perfect for Material Girl's hair because it's very soft and wavy. A good way to "charge" this doll with your personal energy would be to maybe add some bows or beads to her hair, or perhaps give her some jewelry.

Mr. Banana Pants
This weird little fellow is definitely one of the "creative types." He constantly has crazy ideas for projects and is always working on artwork. Banana Pants is definitely not afraid to stand out for being colorful and different, in fact he embraces it! I would imagine BP is for someone who needs more creative spark in their life, or someone who wants to embrace the silliness and freedom that the world can provide them. 

I made Banana Pant's awesome yellow trunks out of ribbon and used some found objects for the belt. He has big golden bead eyes and a few tufts of embroidery thread hair. I believe that the awesome fabric print on his front is originally from Australia.. I obtained it in a bag of scraps given to me by one of my artist mentors who took a trip abroad. I think that extra element adds some culture to Mr. Banana Pants!

The Swamp thing
Not much is known about the Swamp Thing because this tiny bizarre poppet is a complete recluse. He never goes outside or does anything fun, and it would be your job to get him out of the house! Swamp Thing is smaller than the other voodoo dolls and could fit in your pocket so you could take him with you anywhere. He could help alleviate your own social anxieties and give you bravery by absorbing all of your negative energy.

I really dig Swamp Thing's crazy flowery print. I originally intended for this to be a female doll, but it instead turned out masculine or even androgynous at best...I enjoy the mystery. Swamp's eyes were made out of sequins. He also has a little tiny pink knot for a belly button, too cute.

Daniel Crockett
I suspect that Daniel is a very supportive poppet to own. He is an explorer of the world ( if you couldn't already tell because of his awesome coonskin hat!) and is known to be incredibly lucky. The source of this luck comes from his collection of enchanted trinkets that he keeps on his belt at all times, which create good fortune when they clink together. Daniel is very manly but is known to have a sensitive side- perfect for a girl who wants this kind of guy in her life!

The hat was made of faux fur (and not an actual raccoon.) His eyes were made of beads and I love the kind of demure expression they give him. I used suede and various yarns for his outfit, and a few little found objects for his "good luck" trinkets.

I hope that these voodoo dolls speak to the people out there who are interested in getting some positivity back in their lives. If you're in a rut, depressed, or just want to see some results for goal you're perusing, why not try utilizing a juju doll during some meditation? Use it to help picture the things you want to be improved. It will be even more meaningful to add personal belongings to these dolls. They would benefit from a few extra stitches sewn, some extra trinkets and little patches. I also left them without all without a mouth so that their new owners can decide for themselves what kind of expression their poppet has, if any at all.

 I know it's all a little hokey, but the idea behind it is very sound- Clarity is a helpful thing to have in your life. You may be surprised by how quickly results can reveal themselves if you'd just take the time out of your day to think about what you actually want.

These dolls are currently available for sale on my Etsy page.

1 comment:

BoholstWife said...

you are so fun and creative trina.i have missed you. i have been busy and now am able to go on blogger and was so happy to see new posting from you.