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National Doll - Iranian, Warlord, 1978 Object Reg. No: SH 940214

National Doll produced to represent an Iranian man. It was brought for Monica Gates by her mother in Isfahan in 1978. The doll is dressed as a Persian warlord with his battle axe in hand. Persia (today known as Iran) is home to one of the world's oldest continuous major civilizations, with historical and urban settlements dating back to 4000 BC. It has been invaded and occupied by Greeks, Arabs, Turks, Mongols, and others. Yet it has always reasserted its national identity and has developed as a distinct political and cultural entity.

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.
Male doll with long flowing black hair and beard. Body and head are plastic. Headgear is in two parts - a cap of woven material the same as the coat, covered by a piece of material wrapped around, made of fine black l lace and shiny gold and purple material. The coat is made of a woven material with stripes of red, yellow, white, black and blue. it stretches to below knee e level, and is open at the front and trimmed with two rows of curled aluminium foil over white lace. The lining of the coat is plain blue cloth.The undergarments are plain white cloth. Shoes are sewn black vinyl. Doll is holding a metal axe.
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 27.00 cm (Height), 7.00 cm (Width), 12.00 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: nil
Place & Date Made: Iran, 1978
User: Mrs Monica Gates, Frankston, Victoria, Australia, circa 1970s-1990s
Place Depicted: Iran

Doll is intended to represent a Persian warlord

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