National doll produced to represent an Albanian woman. It was given to Monica Gates circa1970s-1980s. In southern Albania women traditionally wore a blouse with wide cuffs, an embroidered vest, full skirt, embroidered apron, sash, a kerchief over the hair, and strands of gold chains around the neck. Costumes in northern Albania are similar although the sleeves of the blouse are wide with lace embroidery, and gold coins are worn on a headband and on several strands of necklace.

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

This doll is wearing a black and white gingham dress with yellow and orange stitching on the skirt and orange stitching on its cuffs and neckline. Over the skirt the doll has a red felt apron with yellow and green decorative stitching and wears a yellow headscarf that holds back her long brown plaited hair. She is carrying a bunch of sticks on her back and has black painted shoes and a white petticoat.

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