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Abayomi Doll Making Workshop

February 22, 2023
Tweens and Teens
Popular Topics
Black History Month
Coloring, Crafts & Hands-on
Advance Planning

This program's goal was to highlight Black American subcultures, specifically the Gullah-Geechee of Coastal Georgia. One of the library's strategic plan goals is to increase the total number of cultural programs available to our patrons, so I jumped at the opportunity to facilitate the Abayomi Doll Making Workshop to supplement an existing Black History Program.

Blue is prominent throughout this activity as a significant marker of Gullah-Geechee heritage with African roots. I dressed the dolls in West African textile patterns to represent the journey to the Sea Islands and Coastal Plains during the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The Abayomi Dolls are created to celebrate cultural ties to the past and to embody resilience for future generations.

I began planning this program in January 2023. Making this program meaningful was simple, so planning and execution came naturally because it is a part of my identity. The only challenge I had was locating accurate and meaningful kente patterns unique to West African tribes brought to the Sea Islands and Coastal Georgia.


This program was advertised via library social media (Facebook and TikTok), in-house via word-of-mouth and through monthly event calendar distribution.

Budget Details

I requested $100 for this program, which made 25 kits.

Day-of-event Activity

On the day of the event, there was very little setup. I set up a booth with doll-making kits and related materials for patrons to browse in order to learn more about the Gullah-Geechee Culture.

Program Execution

The program performed admirably. When the 25 kits ran out, I made sure to leave instructions for the activity, as well as supplies needed, in case patrons wanted to do this project on their own. Some of the feedback I received was simply requests for the doll-making workshop to be held at schools during Black History Month, and for larger quantities to be made for more participants.

The patron QR survey was used to complete the program evaluation. The QR survey takes you to a Google Form where you can answer questions like "How satisfied were you with this event?" and "What did you like best about this event?" and "What can we do to make this event better?" 


Consider 'own voices' first when facilitating cultural programs, and you will create a space for meaningful learning opportunities & partnerships.

Short Title
Abayomi Doll Making Workshop

This program was hosted in honor of Black History Month. I am of Gullah-Geechee descent and wanted to share and preserve my culture by teaching others.

The kit includes brown felts for making the dolls and West African textiles for dressing them. The kit also includes 'found objects' like sea shells, feathers, buttons and beads to adorn the dolls, an infographic about the Gullah-Geechee heritage and a free virtual tour of the 'Cum Yah Gullah' Exhibit at the Fort Bend Children's Discovery Center.

Program Date
Slideshow Images
  • Two completed dolls
  • Photograph of materials in the doll-making kit.

This workshop highlights Black American subcultures, specifically the Gullah-Geechee of Coastal Georgia.