Golliwogg dolls on sale in 2008
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeGolliwogg dolls on sale in 2008 - Credit: Wikimedia Commons, alx_chief

The golliwogg was a character in children's books of the late-19th century, and was also manufactured as a rag doll. These dolls and toys were popular in the US, Europe and Australia right up to the 1960s.

The dolls are characterised by their black skin, white-rimmed eyes, big red lips and frizzy hair, a caricature of a black person. The dolls are still controversial, with some viewing them as a piece of cultural history that should be preserved, and others regarding them as offensive and the product of a time that should not be cherished. Associations with racism have severely diminished their popularity, and they are not commonly manufactured.