National doll produed to represent a Canadian Indigenous or First Nations woman, which was given to Monica Gates, circa 1970s-1980s. The 2006 Canadian census recorded 1,172,790 Indigenous peoples, which was further divided into 698,025 people of First Nations descent, 389,785 Métis, and 50,485 Inuit. The 2006 census recorded 615 First Nations and 10 distinct First Nations language families in Canada. Like many Indigenous peoples the relationship of First Nations people with the natural environment plays a key role in their traditions and culture, including the style and materials of their dress. Choice of materials, colour, style, type of garments and ornamentation distinguish different groups.

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

Female doll dressed in burgundy suede. Her jacket has some red and yellow decorative beading on the front. Her trousers and shoes are made from the same burgundy suede as the jacket. Over her shoulder she has a bow and tied to her back is a holster with and arrow in it. She has a head band with red yellow beading and with a red feather sticking out of it. Her hair is quite long and dark. She has eyes which open and close.

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