National doll produced to represent a Chinese person, it was purchased for Monica Gates circa 1970s-1980s.Traditional Chinese dress can be divided into three key periods, variations of which are still worn today, although sometimes only for special occasions. Hanfu or Han Chinese clothing consists of a yi (narrow-cuffed, tunic tied with a sash), and a chang (narrow skirt) it was worn by both men and women with variations according to rank, sex and dynastic period. Manchu clothing consisted of the changshan (long shirt) worn by men, the qipao or cheongsam (a one-piece dress which fitted loosely) worn by women, and the tangzhuang (Chinese suit, pants and a mandarin style jacket) which could be worn by men and women. The dress of the People's Republic consisted of the Zhongshan suit, which evolved into the Mao suit, for men, and a reworked qipao or cheongsam (into a slender and form fitting dress) for women.

The Gates collection contains 170 national dolls from 74 different countries and some correspondence relating to the acquisition of several of the dolls. The costumes of the dolls represent national costumes from the 19th Century to the 1990s. Monica Gates collected or was given these dolls between 1957 and 1990.

These dolls were purchased as souvenirs of particular countries and like many mass produced souvenirs they are often not accurate representations of a particular country or region, and may actually better reflect neighbouring counties or regions. This occurs because costumes are often stylised and simplified resulting dolls wearing generic costume elements which are common to many countries/regions. Often the fabrics and decorations used are selected to make the dolls cheap and easy to manufacture and aesthetically pleasing. This can result in the fabrics, colours and decorations of the doll's clothing having little or no reflection of the costume associated with a particular country or region they are meant to be representative of.

Physical Description

Chinese doll with black hair pat of which is plaited and decorated with one cream and one orange ribbon. Her top is lime green with gold embroidery. The front of the top is faded. The doll wears red pants and has black shoes painted onto its feet. The mouth and eyes are painted on, but the eyes are inlaid, perhaps with plastic.

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