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National Doll - Guatemalan, circa 1959 Object Reg. No: SH 940191

Summary:
National doll produced to represent a Guatemalan man, it was given to Monica Gates by her mother in 1959, after she saw a lady on a television program showing national dolls from South America. Monica's mother then rang the television station to get in touch with the lady who then sold her two Guatemalan dolls. Guatemala has a large Maya population, 40% to 60% of the total population. Traditional clothing or traje for Maya men consists of a shirt with elaborate patterns and designs, loose cotton pants and a hat. Design, style, pattern and colours traditionally were specific to a village, although this is not always the case today.

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:
Male doll, brown colour skin, black hair. He is wearing a straw hat with a red ribbon. His dress is a white, short arm blouse with a pink border around his neck. Around his waistline he has a red belt. The colour of his trousers are dark blue with stripes in green, white, yellow.
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 23.30 cm (Height), 7.00 cm (Width), 13.60 cm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: clothing, souvenirs, cultural beliefs, dolls, national costumes, children s play, national identity, indigenous peoples, indigenous cultures, 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
Place Made: Guatemala, circa 1959
User: Mrs Monica Gates, Victoria, Australia, circa 1960s-1990s
Other Association (See Comments): Guatemala

Doll is intended to represent a Maya male from Guatemala. The clothing is suggestive of the traje (traditional dress) worn by these men.

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