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National Doll - Bulgarian, circa 1970s-1980s Object Reg. No: SH 940161

Summary:
National doll produced to represent a Bulgarian woman. It was given to Monica Gates circa1970s-1980s. Common to both men and women's dress in Bulgaria is the tunic style shirt (riza or koshulya), with the cut and construction of the garment being similar for both men and women. Both men's and women's garments are embroidered at the neck and sleeves. Men's riza are generally keen length and are worn either tucked into or over trousers.

Men's costume's fall into two main categories 'white dress' worn mostly in western Bulgaria is characterised by fitted white trousers worn with a sash and a loose-fitting jacket. 'Black dress' which is worn throughout the rest of Bulgaria is characterised by dark trousers which are fitted to the knee and baggy from the knee to waist, a fitted short sleeve jacket and a sash.

The standard male headwear is a round lambskin hat although young boys and men in some regions wear a red skull cap, while footwear consists of socks or cloth boots which cover the lower legs. Regional differences are shown through the use of colour, embroidery and the style of the garments worn.

The style of hooded cloak worn by the doll that traditionally worn by Bulgarian shepherds, although they are constructed of alternating squares of brown and white wool.

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:
The doll has a brown hooded cape with black edging under which is a cream top with decorations down the front. The pants are black with some white decoration on the top of the legs. Around the waist is a red sash. It has some hair showing, but most has been covered by the hood of the cape. The shoes are cream and the doll stands on a wooden base.
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 20.00 cm (Height), 6.00 cm (Width), 8.00 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, Identity: Yours, Mine, Ours, Immigration Museum Exhibition, 2011-2021
Primary Classification: CULTURAL IDENTITY
Secondary Classification: Ethnicity - Clothing
Tertiary Classification: national dolls
Inscriptions: Label - Text in foreign language.
Place Made: Bulgaria, circa 1970s-1980s
User: Mrs Monica Gates, Victoria, Australia, circa 1970s-1990s
Other Association (See Comments): Bulgaria

Doll is intended to represent a Bulgarian man.

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