No doubt I had an impish grin when I first read about 'Peter Dolls' being in my Great Grandmother's practice. I have been quite zealous in trying to track down their origin, but I have been left to guess.
A little while back, I had turned to a Traditional Witchcraft forum to see if anyone else had an idea, and one of the suggestions posted was that it could be Hoodoo. The search continues.
So what exactly are these elusive Peter Dolls? Well, I am not certain if I have seen one myself (there may have been a glimpse caught in my Grandmother's sewing room, but whatever doll it was, my Grandmother has insisted that it was not for the eyes of children!), but from what I gather, they are poppets made from fabric or wool and stuffed with wool and herbs. Their unique feature is a large phallus.
There is no mention of what types of herbs are stuffed into the doll, but colour plays an important role: red to bring virility, white to bring fidelity, and black to bring impotence. My assumption is that as the midwife of the area, that she made these for the wives of the settlement.
If anyone has heard of any similar poppets, or if you have an idea of the origin of the Peter Dolls, I certainly would love to hear your input. :)