Definitions and other philosophical considerations


I have been collecting Regional Dolls since I was 12, that is ... 23 years ago. The usual question when I mention my hobby is: what do you mean by "Regional dolls". Good question! I have found as many definitions and namings as you may think of, depending on the book or the collector. They may be called Ethnic Dolls, Costume Dolls, Folk Dolls..etc.. I can only give you my own criteria to get what I consider a 'good doll' for my collection:

  • it must represent a traditional costume that is or was worn in the world: whether it is a regional costume, a costume representing a corporation - santons - , or a spiritual image - kachina -, it does not matter much as soon as the costume is close to reality and .. traditional.

  • the doll itself must be hand-crafted, and in a style that fits the country it comes from. No celluloid doll from Africa, for example. Some of my European dolls are made of celluloid, which is definitely not handcrafted! But in that case, the clothes must be really well-made. And the head of the doll must be entirely painted (again, some exceptions). For example, see French dolls. It is harder and harder to get real handcrafted dolls in "civilized" countries.

  • and last but not least, I have to get the dolls MYSELF, and in the country they represent. Of course, if one of my relatives is abroad, in a country I have never been, and is eager to get me a fantastic doll, I will not refuse it. But no-one dares!

I will not list all the interesting aspects of that collection (learning geography, preserving traditions and bla-blabla). Ask any stamp collector around you. There is no explanation, it is just a passion that has never faded ever since I started. And this site is only an exposure of some pieces of my collection, because one is always eager to show it off! Hope you will enjoy the pictures.


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