ETHNIC DOLLS

Dolls have been played with by children from all over the world. This page shows some of the dolls found from all culltures around the world

Below are some ethnic dolls displayed at the British Museum, The Museum of London and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

  • Cloth doll from Bamnabari Cloth doll from Bamnabari

    Cloth doll from Bamnabari

    Doll toy made of textile.

    Courtesy of the British Museum

  • Toy Doll from Burma Toy Doll from Burma

    Toy Doll from Burma

    Doll, toy made of wood

    Courtesy of the British Museum

  • National Doll Cyprus National Doll Cyprus

    National Doll Cyprus

    This doll is wearing a traditional costume of Cyprus.

    Courtesy of the Museum of London

  • Czech Doll Czech Doll

    Czech Doll

    Children played with this doll while in the waiting room of their doctor's surgery in Camden. The doll is wearing traditional Czech folk costume. The surgery belonged to Dr. F. Barber, who began working there as a GP in 1958. Dr. Barber was Jewish and escaped from his native Czechoslovakia when Hitler invaded the country. Many of his patients were also from immigrant families. They established a custom of giving him dolls from their homeland as presents.

    Courtesy of the Museum of London

  • Male doll in the form of a courtier wearing a cap and holding a tablet. The doll is seated on a lacquered wooden stand which is covered with straw matting and rests on a wooden base. Male doll in the form of a courtier wearing a cap and holding a tablet. The doll is seated on a lacquered wooden stand which is covered with straw matting and rests on a wooden base.

    Japanese male doll in the form of a courtier wearing a cap and holding a tablet. The doll is seated on a lacquered wooden stand which is covered with straw matting and rests on a wooden base.

    This male doll is part of a Japanese Dolls' Festival (hina matsuri) set. The Dolls' Festival is traditionally celebrated by girls on 3rd March. The focal point of this festival is the display of dolls, miniature furniture and household accessories. The dolls represent the emperor and empress, with attendants and musicians in ancient court dress. The more elaborate of these sets are arranged on tiered shelves in the home and celebrated with special food of diamond-shaped rice cakes and sake. This set consists of a male and female doll, elaborately clothed, and seated on their own lacquered base covered with traditional tatami straw matting. In addition, there is a pair of screens, which are each placed behind a doll, with a shaded candlestand on either side. It also consists of several incomplete sets of miniature lacquer furniture and daily utensils. If they could afford it, a family would possess a high-quality set of lacquered items, which were passed down from generation to generation. This accounts for the incomplete nature of this particular grouping. It also suggests that they not only had sentimental value, but were also of artistic merit.

    Courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum London

  • Kyrgyzstan doll Kyrgyzstan doll

    Kyrgyzstan doll

    Made with wool felt

    Courtesy of the British Museum London

  • National Doll Saudi Arabia National Doll Saudi Arabia

    National Doll Saudi Arabia

    The doll wears traditional Saudi Arabian clothing. Dr. Barber was a Czechoslovakian Jewish immigrant and many of his patients were also immigrants. They established a custom of giving him dolls from their homeland as presents.

    Courtesy of the Museum of London

  • Doll representing a Caucasian woman, dressed in Welsh costume Doll representing a Caucasian woman, dressed in Welsh costume

    Doll representing a Caucasian woman, dressed in Welsh costume

    Doll representing a Caucasian woman, dressed in Welsh costume. She has a bisque shoulder head, with moulded and painted facial features and curly blonde hair; her inset blue eyes are of glass. The body, upper arms and upper legs are of undyed calico with a firm stuffing. The forearms and hands and the lower legs and feet are of moulded and painted bisque, the legs and feet painted to represent white stockings with blue garters and black ankle boots. The doll carries on her true right arm a shallow oval wicker basket, with a looped handle, containing a ball of red woollen yarn and a piece of tubular knitting on four steel needles.

    This doll was made in Germany in ca.1880 by Alt, Beck, and Gottschalk, a famous high-quality doll manufacturer known for their use of bisque.

    Courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum