Bits of Oklahoma history have come alive in the Miami Public Library.
“Oklahoma Women in History,” a centennial exhibit, is a display of unique, handmade, one-of-a-kind dolls representing women of importance in the state.
It was created by Jaymie Mathena of Langley.
“I try to call the dolls ‘replicas' because many people when they hear the word dolls think of them as baby dolls,” Mathena said.
So far she has 26 dolls completed and another three in the works.
She hopes to complete 100, but doesn't have a definite deadline.
“Some of the choices were very obvious like Moslyn Larkin, a ballerina I believe was a Miami native,” Mathena said.
Others she tracks down from clues given her by people she meets every day.
Each takes from three to four months to create.
“No matter what I do, they evolve into their own personality,” Mathena said. “Some of the dolls are easy to create, particularly the more modern ones of women I have met.
“Others, the older ones, can be very difficult. There was only one photograph of one of the ladies available. The rest had burned in a house fire. I had to create her on hunches.”
It is hard for her to find time to create the dolls these days because she is spending so much time making arrangements for their display, setting the displays up and speaking to area children about the women the dolls represent.
Mathena was grateful to the Miami Public Library and the Quapaw Tribe for helping to finance the exhibit's display in Miami.
It will be on display in the library until the end of May.
Eventually, the entire exhibit will be permanently housed in Tulsa.
“I love speaking to children about the women,” she said. “I always finish my talk by reminding them that, in 100 years, for Oklahoma's second centennial, any one of them may be among the dolls on display.”