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National Doll - Pakistani, 1970s Object Reg. No: SH 940249

Summary:
National doll produced to represent a Pakistani woman. It was purchased for Monica Gates by her mother on a trip she took in the early 1970s. It was purchased at the Rawalpindi bazaar, and when Monica's mother entered Nepal with the doll the immigration authorities began searching the doll for drugs. As they couldn't understand why anyone would want such an old doll, they told Monica's mother it was an antique and could be over 100 years old. The most well known form of traditional dress in Pakistan is the Shalwar Kameez which is worn by both men and women. It consists of a long tunic worn with a wide leg trouser and women generally wear a head covering.

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.
Description:
Doll, female, formed of cloth over wire. She is mounted on a round wooden base. She is wearing a dappled green bodice with a long coffee coloured skirt which has a deep hem of dappled green. There is silver braid in a pattern around the hem and around her waist, cuffs and neck. She has a coffee coloured scarf over her head which hangs down her back. It is edged with an ornate silver braid. She has silver earrings and a silver hair ornament.
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 33.00 cm (Height), 9.00 cm (Width), 15.00 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: Muslim Collections at Museum Victoria, Childhood & Youth Collection, Clothing & Textiles Collection
Primary Classification: CULTURAL IDENTITY
Secondary Classification: Ethnicity - Clothing
Tertiary Classification: national dolls
Inscriptions: "PAKISTAN" (-written on attached paper tag)
Place & Date Purchased: Pakistan, circa 1970s
User: Mrs Monica Gates, Victoria, Australia, circa 1970s-1990s
Other Association (See Comments): Pakistan

Doll intended to represent a woman from the area that is today Pakistan. The ornateness of her dress suggests she is well off.

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