In the interviews in this unit, Seminole doll maker Mary B. Billie and her daughter, Claudia C. John, discuss the history and practices of Seminole doll making. The interviews were conducted at the Big Cypress Indian Reservation by folklorists Doris Dyan and Peggy Bulger in June 1980. Mary Billie speaks in Mikasuki. Her daughter Claudia C. John translates. In various texts, Mary's last name is spelled either "Billie" or "Billy." Since the Seminole language was not written, this is a phonetic approximation.

This unit includes reproductions of both the original audio and the original transcript of the interview conducted by folklorists Doris Dyan and Peggy Bulger, as well as photographs from the Seminole Slide/Tape Project. These materials were produced by the Florida Folklife Program and are now part of the Florida Folklife Collection at the State Archives of Florida.

At the time of the interview, Bulger was chief administrator for the Florida Folklife Program. Today, she serves as the Director of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Dyen is currently the Director of Cultural Conservation for the River of Steel National Heritage Area in Pennsylvania.

Interview Part 1

"Mary B. Billie"

Mary B. Billie: Seminole Dollmaker (part 1)

(Series S 1576)

T-80-47 Box 61

Interview by Doris Dyen and Peggy Bulger with Mary B. Billie and her daughter, Claudia C. John (acting as interpreter). In Mikasuki and English.

Listen to the recording:

View the transcript »

This is a reproduction of the original typed transcript of the taped interview of Mary B. Billie and Claudia C. John that was recorded in 1980.

Interview Part 2

Mary B. Billie holding a doll

Mary B. Billie: Seminole Dollmaker (part 2)

(Series S 1576)

T-80-48 Box 61

Interview by Doris Dyen and Peggy Bulger with Mary B. Billie and her daughter, Claudia C. John (acting as interpreter). In Mikasuki and English.

Listen to the recording:

View the transcript »

This is a reproduction of the original typed transcript of the taped interview of Mary B. Billie and Claudia C. John that was recorded in 1980.