Thursday 24 March 2011

Scrapbook: Gollywog overload

In a florist’s window in the outskirts of Melbourne (Williamstown to be exact), myself and my friend were slightly disturbed to see it filled with Gollywogs instead of flowers. After pausing to take the photograph I realised that whilst the florist was clearly selling them  so much so that they’d invaded their prime window display. On the plus side (if you can find one) they had at least kindly put up a plague chronicling the history of the Gollywog which read as thus:

The origins of the Gollywog began with the British soldiers who occupied Egypt towards the end of the nineteenth century. The Egyptian labourers working for the British wore the letters W.O.G.S on their armbands, indicating that they were Working On Government Service. These labourers were spoken of a Ghuls - the Arabic word for desert ghosts - by the British troops. The children of the Egyptians played with black stuffed material dolls. These dolls in turn were given as gifts, purchased by the soldiers returning home to England. These dolls became known as Ghuliwogs, a name which would eventually become the Golliwog we know today.

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