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National Doll - Metti, Papua New Guinea, Central Province, circa 1970 Object Reg. No: HT 7091

Doll dressed to represent a woman from Central Province, Papua New Guinea. The doll was manufactured by Metti a South Australian doll manufacturer, circa 1970. The doll was given to the donor, circa 1973, by Mr Leonard Matthews, who was a Commissioner for Papua New Guinea of the Commonwealth Industrial Court. He frequently travelled between PNG and Australia, and brought gifts back for the donor.

Metti was established in South Australia in 1965. In 1968 the company began to manufacture an Aboriginal doll named 'Bindi', they later made a smaller version called 'Piccaninny' as well. Metti appointed Burns Philp (South Seas) Ltd as its agent in the Pacific Islands. The Bindi and Piccaninny dolls were sold through Burns Philp stores across the Pacific, but modified with darker, curlier hair and darker plastic to approximate Melanesians peoples.

These dolls were bought by many organisations in PNG and used as fund-raisers for various organisations including church groups, scouts and women's groups. As part of these fundraisers villagers, particularly those living in the Highlands, were asked to dress the dolls as authentically as possible in local clothing styles. The dolls were then on-sold as souvenirs, many of them to accompanying PNG scouts on jamborees in Australia and elsewhere, where they were sold to help defray travel costs.
Doll from Papua New Guinea. Dark brown PVC, with synthetic hair and sleeping eyes. Clothed in style of Central Province Papua New Guinea, with fibre skirt, sting forearm bands and knee bands, ties on upper arms, a purple, pink and cream knitted hat and knitted bag (worn at back). Shell beads around waist, arms and hat. White feather at right ear and on bag.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Ms. Antonietta Zampolli, 2004
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 16.00 cm (Width), 33.00 cm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: souvenirs, cultural identity, cultural traditions, dolls, national costumes, tourism, fundraising, charities, travel
Themes this item is part of: Childhood & Youth Collection, Clothing & Textiles Collection
Primary Classification: CULTURAL IDENTITY
Secondary Classification: Ethnicity - Clothing
Tertiary Classification: national dolls
Inscriptions: Inscribed: Metti/AUSTRALIA.
Manufacturer: Metti Australia, South Australia, Australia, circa 1970
User: Ms. Antonietta Zampolli, Carlton North, Victoria, Australia, circa 1970s-2000s
Other Association (See Comments): Central Province, Papua New Guinea

This doll has been dressed to represent a woman from the Central Province of Papua New Guinea.
References: M. Fainges, 1993. The Encyclopaedia of Australian Dolls, Kangaroo Press, NSW

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