Sun | Dec 16, 2018

Cultural, afrocentric dolls share island flavours

Published:Sunday | November 18, 2018 | 12:00 AMRocheda Bartley
Queen Jamaica doll and Queen Universe doll.
Wakanda dolls.
Queen Universe Doll
Queen Jamaica doll.
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As the Yuletide season fast approaches, the 'dolly lady' is adding more exciting models to her Island Doll Collection. Beverley Robotham Reynolds is making

history again, boldly representing images of Miss Universe Jamaica, moving Wakanda styles and fashionable carnival apparels. Dubbed as the cultural, Afrocentric, glitz and glamour assortment, Reynolds offers these toys as creative tools for helping children embrace black pride.

Initially, her efforts stemmed from a challenge that was thrust upon her - to top her creativity. Following the release of the Patois-speaking line of dolls last year, she is grateful for her new accomplishments and eagerly anticipates the impact these products will have for Christmas and beyond.

"These dolls speak volume, especially the Miss Universe Jamaica set. Since last year, I wanted to do something that represent our ladies, Davina Bennett chiefly, but I was unable to. So, I decided to be proactive this time around and get the job done," Reynolds said.

In order to accomplish this task, Reynolds had to make a compromise by deviating from the norm. The slender-bodied queen, clad in a gorgeous dress, is available in two skin tones, dark and light, capturing the qualities of some of Jamaica's previous and present crowned beauties.

"Everyone knows that I have always created dark-skinned dolls, but that does not limit what I can do. I think that it's time for something different. I've had the doll bodies for years and I was reluctant to do anything with them. But when I thought of the accomplishments of the different Miss Universe Jamaica, I had to do it. And remember, our motto says, 'Out Of Many One

People'; and I believe that these have turned out to be a good representation of the persons who make up our society," she explained to Outlook.

 

WAKANDA AND CARNIVAL

 

She explained that the Wakanda theme is an extension of the collection she launched last year, and credits the idea to vlogger Dutty Berry, who inspired her to create costumes that complement either the Black Panther movie or Wakanda.

Reynolds is in love with all the dolls, but the carnival line is her favourite. She intends to introduce it to other countries in the region, starting with the carnival capital, Trinidad and Tobago, then Barbados and Grenada.

"I'm expecting a lot from these dolls. Carnival is a vital part of our identity and I want all of us, as Caribbean nationals, to enjoy these joys. In fact, I'm willing to customise a costume for the different nations," she explained.

These dolls also have a unique characteristic - bearing a musical chip that describe the festive moment in the Caribbean. Plus, a background tune of sweet soca music by one of Jamaica's leading composers accompanies the speech.

 

SHARING

 

Island Dolls will be donating five per cent of its sales from the Carnival Dolls to the Jamaica Cancer Society. As a survivor of colon cancer, she pledges to have this donation channelled towards the Colon Cancer Symposium, which is normally held in March.

The dolls are available at different locations. The Craft Cottage, My Jamaica, Sun Island Jamaica, and Casa de Xaymaca, at both international airports, are where you'll be able to find these treasures.

Beverley Robotham Reynolds can be contacted at (876) 817-6763 or islanddolls1@gmail.com.

rocheda.bartley@gleanerjm.com