Doll produced to represent a 'typical' Indigenous Australian person; it was given to Monica Gates, circa 1960s-1970s. The image of Indigenous Australians' painted, holding spears and shields was particularly common following European settlement in Australia, when Indigenous peoples were often portrayed as 'uncivilised' and 'savages'.

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

Doll is made from plastic that is painted black with paint markings on the chest, ribs, top of the arms and kneecaps. The doll is wearing green felt underpants and carries a painted shield in the left hand and a wooden spear in the right. He has a black beard and hair and moveable arms

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