“As the world grew cold and grey, it was once feared that the sun was approaching the end of its life. It was at the time of the winter Solstice or Brumalia (Dec 25th according to the Julian calendar) that Saturnus, the god of seed and sowing, was honored with a festival called Saturnalia. At the
a sacrifice was made to placate the gods and to ensure that the great light of the heavens would be reborn. Humans were once sacrificed to the god, but as society evolved, a goat or a pig was donated for the occasion. The woolen bonds which fettered the feet of the statue were loosened to symbolize the liberation of the god. After the religious rites were performed the crowds were dismissed with the proclamation: “Io, Saturnalia!” trumpeting the beginning of the joyous festivities. Crowds filled the streets, Romans paraded singing “unto us a child is born this day” Stalls laden with presents lined the streets near the Forum, but the great present of the season was the doll, of wax or terracotta. Hundreds of thousands of these dolls were on sale or held in the arms of passers by. Gone was a time when human beings were sacrificed to Saturn, the god or his priests had to be content with effigies of men or maids-dolls!” source material
temple of Saturn
I was at a goodwill store and saw this ugly doll and tossed it back on the shelf, but THEN it occurred to me that once a child had loved this doll and in some way it had a weird charm. It was made in China so there must be thousands of them somewhere in this world. I bought it and had it sitting on the shelf for months. I was invited to participate in a winter solstice show a couple of years ago and this doll just seemed to shout at me from the shelf.. So I spray painted the doll white and added charms that had symbolic meaning and built a box to display it.