Similar items over time

National Doll - New Zealand, Maori, 1968 Object Reg. No: SH 940243

National doll produced to represent a Maori woman. It was purchased for Monica Gates in Auckland, New Zealand in 1968. The doll is dressed in a skirt made of plant fibre and a rectangular cloak made of plant fibre and feathers, she also wears a woven headdress around her head.

The Gates collection contains 170 national dolls from 74 different countries and some correspondence relating to the acquisition of several of the dolls. The costumes of the dolls represent national costumes from the 19th Century to the 1990s. Monica Gates collected or was given these dolls between 1957 and 1990.

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.
Doll, female Maori. She has long black hair and is wearing a grass skirt and a red cotton under dress. She has a feather cape around her shoulders and a green tiki around her neck. She also has a red and black head band and two raffia balls hanging from a string around her waist.
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 31.00 cm (Height), 8.00 cm (Width), 19.00 cm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: clothing, souvenirs, cultural beliefs, dolls, national costumes, children s play, national identity, cultural awareness
Themes this item is part of: Childhood & Youth Collection, Clothing & Textiles Collection
Primary Classification: CULTURAL IDENTITY
Secondary Classification: Ethnicity - Clothing
Tertiary Classification: national dolls
Inscriptions: "N.Z." (-attached white paper tag)
Place Made: New Zealand, circa 1968
User: Mrs Monica Gates, Victoria, Australia, circa 1960s-1990s
Other Association (See Comments): New Zealand

Doll intended to represent a Maori woman in traditional dress

Add your comment

  • Museum Victoria does not provide valuations, for more information please visit the valuation infosheet
  • Please note that Museum Victoria staff will not normally respond to comments posted on our website.


This item is part of the following themes:

Similar items

Yes No