Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Utzil Doll: Xelaju

I love the "Utzil" collection of handmade dolls from Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. The base of each papier mache doll is a soda bottle, which is covered in fabric and then painted. There are well over a hundred styles, both male and female, decorated to represent the traje from various parts of the country.

These dolls are getting harder to find. There used to be a web site for them, and they were available in several places around Antigua, but I haven't seen any here in about a year. I saw several at the gift shop in the Guatemala City Westin in January, but they were priced very high. I understand one can still buy them in Quetzaltenango.

Then when I was at the textile museum in Guatemala City, I found some and purchased two for my daughter ( for when she's older). One of them was this doll in ceremonial dress from Xelaju. I love the birds on the collar and the ring of cinta (handwoven ribbon) on her head with the pom-pom details. She carries a candle. The photos aren't great because the doll is still wrapped in its protective plastic, but you can still see how cute it is.

I did find an article about the dolls online, if you'd like to see more photos.

1 comment:

Chiocciola said...

Oh these are very cool!