Thursday, January 21, 2016

Meet Kizzy by Kor January


As mentioned in this week's previous post, Kizzy is my 2015 WLBD Anew Club doll by Kor January. It did not take long for me to determine that I wanted an African name for this little one since her artist is from Liberia, a country in West Africa. The name Kizzy was my first and final choice.

The name, Kizzy, became popular in the United States after the TV miniseries based on the book, Roots, aired in 1977 in which the author, the late Alex Haley, traces his roots back to his African ancestor, Kunta Kinte. While enslaved, Kunta and his wife Bell gave birth to one child that he named Kizzy.

In searching for the meaning of Kizzy, I found the following text: Kunta Kinte was born in Gambia and belonged to the Mandinka/Mandinke tribe. The Mandinka language, sometimes referred to as Mandingo, is a Mandé language spoken by millions of Mandinka people in Mali, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea-Bissau and Chad; it is the main language of The Gambia… In keeping with family tradition, Kunta Kinte gave his daughter an African "Christian" name, Kizzy (Keisa in Mandinka/ Mandingo), which in Kunta's native tongue means to "stay put."

Kizzy's hand-carved wooden stoop by Kor January

Staying put on her stoop is what Kizzy enjoys doing. She is a thinker who loves to read. She also loves her dog, Sam, and has aspirations of becoming a veterinarian when she grows up.

Kizzy is currently reading the book she holds, Ruby and the Booker Boys by Derrick Barnes. It is about a sweet and sassy yet tough girl named Ruby who is the exact same age as Kizzy, 8. (According to the book, Ruby plans to “become the most famous woman animal doctor on the planet.”) Kizzy also holds a copy of her favorite children’s magazine, Highlights.

I made ribbons for Kizzy’s two ponytails using green braiding cord (the type used to make bracelets).



She wears a wooden beaded bracelet fashioned from an earring. Kizzy took several additional photos and wanted to share them all with you. She hopes you enjoy them.

Kizzy loves the outdoors.  Her trusty dog, Sam, does too and finds comfort in her lap.

Looking in deep thought, Kizzy sits underneath a shade tree, yet still enjoys the rays of the sun.

Her legs bend and twist at the knees and lock in place to hold various poses.

With her toes perpetually pointed downward, when seated as shown here, Kizzy looks very prim and proper.

I love my little girl.

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18 comments:

  1. Debbie, she is adorable. Truly adorable! You chose the right name for her. Thank you for sharing all these photos with us.
    Arlette

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    1. Thank you, Arlette and you're welcome! Kizzy was a great little subject for the outside photos. The inside photos did not turn out as well, which is why we both decided outside would be best for her photo shoot.

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  2. Oh Debbie, she is beautiful! A wonderful doll!!!

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  3. Wow! That is freaking awesome!

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    1. Yes, freaking awesome, is a great way to describe the talent of Kor January. He sent me a text this week of some wooden planters he has carved. I can't even imagine how much they must weigh but the carving is spectacular!!! I know my husband would love one for the many plants he has cared for throughout our 40+ years together. Just last week he was telling me the ages of some of them. We still have an ivy I received after the birth of my daughter that he takes care of. I follow his instructions with regard to the plants, "Don't touch the plants." So I don't.

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  4. Since she cannot post comments to my blog, I am sharing a complimentary message I received from Betty A. after she read this blog shortly after it published:

    I just couldn't wait to read this blog! Your little girl is definitely worthy of fame. I can see a Caldecott, Coretta Scott King and NAACP award for her story!

    Betty added:

    I love Kor January and Lorna Paris dolls! I have always regretted not being able to purchase one in Philadelphia at Barbara Whiteman's show. Kor's dolls are very unique and so is he!
    ___________________

    Thank you, again Betty for your kind words! Blessings to you!

    dbg

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  5. What a lovely doll...I am surprised to see how well she poses! She looks perfect next to the tree!

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    1. Thank you, Farrah Lily. Her knee joints (hinges) are designed quite well. It took me a while before I realized the legs could actually turn or rotate. It appears that she can only sit, but her legs will straighten out as well (even though she is on permanently her toes). I have a pair of boots that she can wear over her carved shoes which make her appear as though her feet are flat when standing.

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  6. Kizzy is so cute!! It is amazing what the artist did in creating her. Phenomenal!!! I love love your outside pictures of her. Thanks for sharing your jewels with us!

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    1. Thank you, GG. Kor's work truly is amazing. It is unbelievable what he is able to fashion from blocks of wood. He is definitely a very talented artist.

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  7. I have two Black Dolls that I got as a Little Girl. One is made out of saw dust that was hardened in some way. His name is Johnny. He came from the Woolworth's Toy Dept. in Washington DC. I got him at President Eisnhower's Inauguration in 1953. Then about 1956, I got Jimmy, who is made out of a soft rubber material. He came from a 5 & 10 in Lafayette, CA near San Francisco. I still love them both very much. I enjoyed your articles very much and learning more about Black Dolls.

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    1. Jimmy and Johnny sound delightful. It is wonderful they are still with you after so many years. I hope you continue to enjoy them. Thanks for writing!

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  8. Just a freakin' precious post! What's amazing is how natural she looks posed.

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  9. She is so adorable. I love the extra touches you added. Enjoyed the history lesson.

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Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!