We created this website for everyone in the world who loves golliwogs, as we do! The much maligned golliwog was never meant to be a symbol of political incorrectness or racism. It has been a much loved children’s toy for over a century, and we hope that it can continue to bring fond memories to another generation of children. Enjoy!
The Golliwog (originally spelled Golliwogg) is the least known of the major anti-black caricatures in the United States. Golliwogs are grotesque creatures with very dark, often jet black skin, large white-rimmed eyes, red or white clown lips, and wild, frizzy hair. Typically, it’s a male dressed in a jacket, trousers, bow tie, and stand-up collar in a combination of red, white, blue, and occasionally yellow colors. The golliwog image, popular in England and other European countries, is found on a variety of items, including postcards, jam jars, paperweights, brooches, wallets, perfume bottles, wooden puzzles, sheet music, wall paper, pottery, jewellery, greeting cards, clocks, and dolls.
The “Golliwogg” (later “golliwog”, “gollywog”, “golly doll”) was a black man in children’s books in the late 19th century and depicted as a type of rag doll. It was reproduced, both by commercial and hobby toy-makers as a children’s toy called the “golliwog”, and had great popularity in North America, Europe and Australia, into the 1960s. The doll has black skin, eyes rimmed in white, clown lips, and frizzy hair, and it has been described as “the least known of the major anti-Black caricatures in the United States”. While home-made golliwogs were sometimes female, the golliwog was generally male. For this reason, in the period following World War II, the golliwog was seen, along with the teddy bear, as a suitable soft toy for a young boy.