Cuba: Bolero (rumba) dancers

Front view
Front view

General description: This couple of dancers are wearing flamboyant “rumba” costumes, more for the stage rather than standard party wear. The word “bolero” has been written under the man’s stand, so maybe they are dancing a Cuban bolero (usually wrongly called rumba)

Dimensions: Woman: 24 x 14 x 17 cm, Man: 24 x 14 x 9 cm

Date when acquired: 2016

Original Date: Unknown

Source: “I ♥ Cuba” is written on a sticker placed on the base of both of the dolls, so I presume they originate from Cuba.

Flea market in Göttingen. Present from Aneta.

 

Back view
Back view

Body

Plastic with fixed limbs and painted facial features. They are both affixed to a thin square (woman) or oblong (man) piece of plastic to help them stand.

The man has thick black hair in a short back and sides.

The woman’s black hair is mainly hidden under her scarf, but she has a puffed up fringe.

 

Female dancer - side view showing the swing of her skirt
Female dancer – side view showing the swing of her skirt

Clothing

The woman‘s bata cubana ensemble is not a dress but consists of a long flamenco-style skirt cut low on her hips and a bustier. The flounces of the skirt are striped in red, yellow, pink, blue, green, brown, with each thin stripe separated by a strip of see-through material. The basic material of the skirt is pink as is the belt around her hips. The belt is embroidered with a geometrical pattern in silver thread. At the back of her belt is a large bow with long ribbons. She is also wearing a cropped pink bustier which leaves the middle part of her torso free. The bustier has cape sleeves made of two flounces of the same material used for the skirt. On her head is a scarf wrapped tightly around her head and tied at the front with a large bow. It is of the same material as the skirt flounces.She is holding a white cotton shawl in her left hand that is swirled around her hips, giving the impression of movement. On her feet are white high-heeled court shoes.

She is holding a white cotton shawl in her left hand that is swirled around her hips, giving the impression of movement. On her feet are white high-heeled court shoes.

The man is wearing a pair of narrow high-waisted white cotton trousers. He has on a  rumba shirt whose body is made of black velvet and is decorated with red braid down the front. The braid is embroidered in a geometric design with silver thread. The sleeves have ruffles from shoulder to wrist. Each ruffle is a single colour but each one varies in colour from red, yellow, lilac, blue, pink and white. He has a red scarf around his neck. His has heel-less white shoes with pointed toes.

 

Male dancer - side view
Male dancer – side view

Accessories

The woman has a white bead necklace around her neck, gold drop earrings and broad gold bracelets.

The man had maracas (aka rumba shakers) in his hands though the right one is missing.

 

Background information

The Cuban bolero tradition originated in Santiago de Cuba in the last quarter of the 19th century; it does not owe its origin to the Spanish music and song of the same name. The bolero was perhaps the first great Cuban musical and vocal synthesis to win universal recognition. In 2/4 time, this dance music spread to other countriesand became very popular under the name of rumba.

 

Source(s) of information

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolero

See Cuba – general information

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