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Doll depicting 'Nan Wade', the Manx 'wise-woman' and charmer

Date made: 19th century

Description: A dressed doll, said to have been modelled from life on the seller of traditional Manx charms, Nan Wade, of Poortown, German.

The doll is wearing handmade clothes and appears to show an elderly female wearing late 19th century clothing.

'Nan Wade' was a well known Manx wise woman, who specialised in producing charms and herbal remedies. Potentially high levels of infant mortality, low life expectancy together with contagious dieases and the high cost of consulting a medical doctor, meant that the use of folk remedies were an essential part of most people's lives in the past. As a result, each parish would have individuals identified as charmers, bone-setters, 'fairy' doctors or wise women. They would be consulted on a variety of matters which might include charms to remove warts, to stop bleeding or to prevent someone from 'bewitching' or casting the evil eye on a person's family or livestock.

Measurements: overall: 42 cm x 23 cm x 13 cm

Materials: metal, textile

Object name: doll

Collection: Social History Collection

ID Number: 1959-0270

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