Jerry Todd made the limberjack Karen was playing at the last jam though Karen made the outfit.
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Karen says this of her creation, “I painted the face, added the chain hair and handkerchief dress, and put ‘No. 9’ on her shoes because her shoes look like boxes. Also added the duck “and she quacks back” and I know it’s Clementine! So, she is a limberjill and I named her “My Darling Clementine”
In a cavern, in a canyon,
Excavating for a mine,
Dwelt a miner, forty-niner
And his daughter – Clementine
Oh my Darling, Oh my Darling,
Oh my Darling Clementine.
Thou art lost and gone forever,
Dreadful sorry, Clementine.
Light she was and like a fairy,
And her shoes were number nine,
Herring boxes without topses
Sandals were for Clementine…
Well, you probably know the rest of the song.
For those who don’t know, the limberjack is an American folk percussion instrument consisting of a dancing wooden doll and a flexible plank and was popular in many areas including Appalachia. Wikipedia says, “…In London they were frequently operated by street entertainers… In England, old soldiers from the Great War (WW I) sometimes busked with them to supplement their meagre war pensions…” Louise Todd always draws a crowd when she plays her limberjacks when the Athens Dulcimers play anywhere.
The jig doll goes by many names and I read that in the Appalachians the general term amongst the old-timers was ‘dancing man’. The term ‘limberjack’ may been introduced in the late 1800s when such homemade toys started to be commercially produced. The term comes from its loose ‘limber’ method of dancing and ‘Jack’ was the generic name for any boy (ref. the tradition of Jack tales). Limberjacks go by many names such as clogging doll, jig doll, dancing doll, limberjack or limberjill, limbertoy, paddle puppet, stick puppet, and Dancin’ Dan to name a few.
For other limberjack shapes/examples see https://www.pinterest.com/ellencoltrane/dancing-dolls-aka-limberjacks-limberjills-jig-doll/?autologin=true
David B <><