- Mary B. Billie harvesting palmetto fibers for dollmaking - Big Cypress Reservation, Florida
- Photographed on July 15, 1980.
- Mary B. Billie has been a dollmaker since she was 17. She learned the skill by watching her mother, who had learned it from Mary's grandmother.
- Accompanying note: "When Mary finds a good palmetto, she starts to strip out the fiber. 'First, you have to cut the leaves that are standing on that thing and then, after that, you just cut that thing off. You use the smaller knife to take the palmetto fibers off."'
- "'She [has] a cloth with her and after she cuts them and gets it, that thing off it, she wraps it and brings it back. If it's dry enough, she goes ahead and makes the dolls. But if it's kind of wet, she has to let'em dry out for a day before she can make it.'"
Learn more about the Folklife collection »