National Doll - Irish Colleen, circa 1964-1997 Object Reg. No: SH 970414

National Doll produced to represent an Irish woman. Dolls are among the most universal toys found throughout the world and through history. Ornamental dolls can also be used to represent aspects of cultural traditions, such as dress.

The label attached to this doll states she is dressed as an Irish Colleen and the most distinctive feature of her dress is her two skirts. Colleen is an Irish word for girl.

This doll comes from a collection of approximately 150 dolls in an array of national and regional costumes which were collected by Edna Setford from 1964-1988. Her husband Clifford continued the collection until his death in 1997. The collection is the work of both Edna and Clifford as well as many friends and family who brought dolls home to Edna as gifts from overseas trips. The final doll arrived two days after Clifford's death. This doll was purchased in Ireland.

These dolls were purchased as souvenirs of particular countries and like many mass produced souvenirs they are often not accurate representations of a particular country or region, and may actually better reflect neighbouring counties or regions. This occurs because costumes are often stylised and simplified resulting dolls wearing generic costume elements which are common to many countries/regions. Often the fabrics and decorations used are selected to make the dolls cheap and easy to manufacture and aesthetically pleasing. This can result in the fabrics, colours and decorations of the doll's clothing having little or no reflection of the costume associated with a particular country or region they are meant to be representative of.
Female doll wearing a long green hessian skirt with an overskirt in red. She wears a checked white and red long sleeved blouse a green hessian shawl which is worn over the head and shoulders. She has brown hair and carries a basket on one shoulder.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Eril Wangerek, 1997
Discipline: History

More information

Tagged with: souvenirs, cultural identity, dolls, national costumes, keepsakes, travel, cultural awareness
Themes this item is part of: Identity: Yours, Mine, Ours, Immigration Museum Exhibition, 2011-2021, Migration Collection, Clothing & Textiles Collection
Primary Classification: CULTURAL IDENTITY
Secondary Classification: Ethnicity - Clothing
Tertiary Classification: national dolls
Inscriptions: On label: IRISH COLLEEN (with turf basket) / A distinctive feature of the Irish / Colleen is her two skirts. the outer / skirt is red and the underskirt is green.
User: Mr & Mrs Edna & Clifford Setford, Victoria, Australia, circa 1964-1997

Owners of this doll collection which was acquired during this period.
Place Depicted: Ireland

This doll is intended to represent an Irish Colleen.

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