Thursday, May 10, 2012
221. BINATA'T DALAGA: Filipiniana Souvenir Dolls
I chanced upon this handsome couple on ebay--a Filipino/Filpina pair of dolls complete with detailed Filipiniana costumes. It's rare to find a matching pair sold together, in great condition as well. These kinds of dolls were very popular in the 30s, sold in emporiums and bazaars to Manila tourists as souvenirs. The head, hands and feet are made of fine clay, while the bodies are made of stuffed cloth.
The heads are painted realistically--the young man's head is molded and painted, while the young miss has a black mohair wig curled in the flapper style that was all the rage in the 30s. Both are outfitted with glass eyes.
The dolls are outfitted in authentic Filipiniana outfits made from traditional fabrics. The Filipina doll is exceptional in detailing--she is in a baro't saya, complete with an inner wear called kimona. Over this is gauzy baro with butterfly sleeves with floral appliqués and a stiffened panuelo (piano shawl) held together by a faux gem alfiler (pin). The saya has a long train of the de cola variety. I am not sure if this doll is missing a tapiz, which would be of the same gauze material wrapped around the says. She wears a pair of native corchos or slippers.
The handsome swain is dressed in a simple barong tagalog and a pair of coarse brown pants, with matching tan-colored shoes. I have seen male dolls of this sort made in the likeness of Jose Rizal, maybe a character doll, but this chap looks like your everyday Pinoy binata. Bought as a pair long ago by an American tourist smitten by our islands, these Filipiniana dolls survived 70+ years "living" abroad. Now they are coming back home, a destiny made possible by ebay!