Although the dolls come from all over the world they are unified by their collector, the late Grace Hallworth. The well known Trinidad born storyteller, author and librarian had a passion for dolls and wherever she travelled to tell her stories a new doll would come into her care.

When residing again in the UK, Grace kindly donated her dolls to Mythstories in 2010 so they could be appreciated by a wider audience. We decided to display the dolls alongside storybooks from their respective country in the Mythstories/Society for Storytelling Library. The dolls and their provenance made a perfect add on to our “Who Tells Stories?” constellation highlighting the role of International Performance Storytellers in the diverse storytelling sector. Grace was a captivating storyteller and a founder member of the Society for Storytelling. She played a key key in the UK Storytelling Revival and appeared at many major storytelling festivals around the World. She died in 2021 and you will find many fitting tributes to her if you search for her obituaries on the internet.

See if you can guess which Countries Grace visited and acquired the dolls (usually in Traditional National dress) while on her storytelling tours?

Hint: Think of a famous song.
Hint: That’s John Knox, John Knox’s House at the Netherbow in Edinburgh adjoins a National Storytelling Centre.
And then there is that camel…

Grace’s Dolls accompanied the Mythstories/Society for Storytelling Library and are now on display at The Centre for Folklore, Myth & Magic in Todmorden, West Yorkshire.