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The earliest documented dolls france go back to the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece and Rome.They have been made as crude, rudimentary playthings as well as elaborate art.In other cultures dolls were considered too laden with magical powers to allow children to play with them.African dolls are used to teach and entertain; they are supernatural intermediaries, and they are manipulated for ritual purposes.Other tribes in the region have their own distinctive style of akuaba.There is a rich history of Japanese dolls dating back to the Dogū figures (8000–200 BC) and Haniwa funerary figures (300–600 AD).In ancient Rome, dolls were made of clay, wood or ivory.
The best known akuaba are those of the Ashanti people, whose akuaba have large, disc-like heads.
The practice of sticking pins in voodoo dolls have been associated with African-American Hoodoo folk magic.
Voodoo dolls are not a feature of Haitian Vodou religion, but have been portrayed as such in popular culture, and stereotypical voodoo dolls are sold to tourists in Haiti.
During the 20th century, dolls became increasingly popular as collectibles.
The earliest dolls were made from available materials such as clay, stone, wood, bone, ivory, leather, or wax.
In some cultures dolls that had been used in rituals were given to children.