General description These are a pair of small, very pale-skinned dolls with elaborate and bright costumes.
Date when acquired 2012
Original Date 2012
Source Bangkok, Thailand
A present from Sally B.
Dimensions 9.7 cm x 5.2 cm x 4 cm
White clay-like material with painted facial features. Her hair is short and is made of black velvet and her eyes are blue.
She has on a turquoise long-sleeved blouse made by wrapping thin strips of silk around her arms. It is covered by a bodice made of two strips of a white fabric border embroidered with pink and a dark turquoise. She has a sash made of woven orange, red and silver horizontal stripes. Her skirt and hat are made of a woven dark turquoise material decorated with the same material used for the sash. The hat is made of four layers of the turquoise skirt material, with the orange material on top. The crown of the hat is open, showing her hair which appears to be tied with red threads.
Her hair is short and is made of black velvet and her eyes are blue.
She has bell-like ear-rings hanging from her hat.
Dimensions 11 cm x 5 cm x 4 cm
White clay-like material with painted facial features. His hair is also short and made of black velvet and his eyes are blue, too.
He has a bright green, long-sleeved shirt on; again it has been made by wrapping thin strips of silk around his arms. It is covered by a tunic down to his hips. The tunic is complex as it has two strips of a white fabric border embroidered in a silvery blue and silver pattern with purple threads making stripes at the edges. From under his arms down to below his waist is a fabric border embroidered with blue and pink flowers with gold embroidery around them. Underneath this and hanging down to below the hips is a white scalloped fabric border embroidered with green. On the front of the tunic is a large rusty-red velvet oval bordered by a zig-zag of bright green and silver. This zig-zag also forms a sort of belt around his waist. He is wearing trousers made of a woven material like the woman’s skirt but in a dark blue with pink flowers embroidered on them.
His hat is more like an elaborate crown made of strips of various embroidered fabrics covered by a silver border with pagoda-like points rising out of it. A 1-cm high white brush border stands up behind the points, completing the crown-like structure. On the left of his hat is a red maple leaf made of metal, with a long white tassel hanging down to his waist.
His hair is also short and made of black velvet and his eyes are also blue.
He also has bell-like ear-rings hanging from his hat.
Both dolls have very elaborate costumes, but I have not been able to find out which ethnicity they belong to. The person who gave them to me said they are supposedly Hmong, but Hmong men do not have such elaborate headdresses and the mix of bright colours is not really Hmong. The only thing I have found out is that the red maple leaf on the left side of his headdress is a symbol of love, so maybe they are a bridal pair.
Source(s) of information
(4.8.7 & 4.8.8)