Michelle's Barbie Doll Pages

"Ethnic" Dolls -- AFRICA
(not including northern Africa)

Dolls (and fashions) representing people of African descent (African-Americans, etc.)


This line was designed by Kitty Black Perkins using all-new head molds and a variety of skin tones to reflect the diversity of African-American women.  Mattel chose to package all the dolls in the Shani line in red boxes that did not mention Barbie anywhere.

Mattel -- Shani World of Beauty series -- 1991
Left to right:  Shani, Asha, Nichelle


Mattel -- Shani Beach Dazzle series -- 1992
Left to right:  Asha, Nichelle


Mattel -- Shani Beach Streak series -- 1993
Left to right:  Shani, Asha, Nichelle, Jamal


Mattel -- Shani Soul Train series
Asha, Nichelle, Jamal

I like the traditional African Kente-cloth fabrics used on these dolls.  Mattel created a series of dolls using Kente cloth, the African-American Asha series.

The Shani line was discontinued, but the head molds have been used on other dolls (using the Barbie name, or Barbie's friends Christie and Generation Girl Nichelle).  See these pages:
Shani head mold
Asha head mold
Nichelle head mold

Shani made one appearance as an official "friend of Barbie" on a traditional pink box with the Barbie name on it.

Mattel -- Sun Jewel Shani -- 1993


More African and African-American dolls can be found on my other Barbie doll web pages:
    Women of Valor
    Mattel's Head Molds

Also take a look at THE EBONY WORLD OF BARBIE, created by CWash

Africa (not including northern Africa)
    The continent of Africa
    African-Americans and Jamaicans
    Black Barbie
    Christie doll
    Nikki doll
    Imani doll
    Shani line of dolls
    Asha line of dolls
    Nichelle dolls
    AA musicians and dancers
    Celebrities Brandy, Scary Spice
    Celebrities Diahann Carroll, Dorothy Dandridge, Diana Ross, etc.
    Celebrities -- Men
    Men (misc.)

Ethnic Dolls Index

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This web page was made by Michelle DeLee, Amargosa Valley, Nevada, USA
Last updated March 29, 2000