Cultural Objects, Folk Art

Dancing Dolls (Mystery Set)

Maker/Creator: Roger Oliver Slusher, Jr.
Rush Fork (Burks Fork District)

Reclaimed wood and found objects

  • Height (female): 13 1/4 inches
  • Height (male): 13 1/2 inches
  • Waist (female): 3 1/2 inches
  • Waist (male):  4 1/2 inches

This set of limber jack dolls has an unusually bright palette with the strawberry blond female and  yellow shirt with red buttons for the male.  The dolls’ arms are fastened with screws so they swing in time to the music.  Hooks on their backs hold rubber bands allowing them to bounce up and down.  At some point, the female doll’s right hand was broken.

limber jacks, dancing dolls
Bio Sketch

Roger Oliver Slusher, Jr. (1920-2006), was the son of Roger, Sr., and Pearl Sutphin Slusher.  He grew up with his five sisters on the family farm on Rush Fork Creek.  In 1954 he married Evelyn Alice Terry (1925-2011) of Meadows of Dan, Virginia.  That year, they were named the Virginia Young Farm Family of the Year.


This 1983 photo shows R.O. testing his first set of dolls.  Getting them balanced on the dowel rod required moving the fulcrum point multiple times as the female weighs less than the male doll.