National Doll - Bolivian, circa 1960s Object Reg. No: SH 940158

National doll produced to represent a Bolivian woman. It was given to Monica Gates circa1960s by friends or family who had visited South America. Bolivian culture consists of a mixture of the various indigenous Indian cultures, the largest groups are Quechuas and Aymaras, with aspects of 18th Century Spanish culture.

Traditional Bolivian dress for women consists of polleras which are long, often colourful skirts, an embroidered blouse, a woollen cardigan or jumper, a manta (shawl), a aguayo or quepi (a rectangle of cloth worn like a sling on the back to carry anything from children to groceries) and a hat which differs according to region and ethnicity, the most well-known are the bowler hats worn by Aymara women.

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.
Female doll carrying a baby on her back. The baby is firmly secured to her back in a type of sling. She wear a blue skirt with yellow, red and pink stitching around the bottom. Her shirt is cream with red and yellow stitching on it. She also wears a green shall around her shoulders. There are two beaded necklaces around her neck and she carries three scarves, one red, one blue and one black. She has no shoes and her legs are wrapped in cream material. On her head she wears a red hat. Her face and hair are painted on.
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 25.00 cm (Height), 8.50 cm (Width), 13.00 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
Place Made: Bolivia, circa 1960s
User: Mrs Monica Gates, Victoria, Australia, circa 1960s-1990s
Other Association (See Comments): Bolivia

Doll is intended to represent a Bolivian woman.

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