The Most Famous Mexican Crafts

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Maria doll, Mexican handicraft with colored ribbons.

This little doll has won the hearts of the whole world.

The Maria doll is one of the most typical Mexican handicrafts and even in some parts of the country it is still a very popular toy among boys and girls. It is a colorful doll made of cloth with colorful dresses, black braids and colored ribbons in her hair.

Very few know it but these Mexican dolls are full of history!

Mazahua Culture, Intellectual Author

The origin of the Maria doll can be traced almost to pre-Hispanic times. The game with clay figures and other types of dolls has been present in almost all cultures.

In Mexico, the first pre-Hispanic dolls, made of clay, palm and corn hair, were placed in the tombs of children, as protection against evil spirits.

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With the arrival of the Spanish in Mexico, new customs, food, and also toys arrived.

One of these was the porcelain dolls that represented people with white complexions and golden hair, that is, Europeans. Given this, the members of the Mazahua ethnic group, representative of the state of Michoacán, decided to create a doll that would look and dress like the women of the region.

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Eventually the doll was perfected throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. With the passage of time, these dolls began to represent the women of the Mazahua culture who roamed the streets of Mexico City and who are called “Marías”.

Today, there is a great variety of dolls derived from the Marías, all with representative elements of their region of origin. For example, on the coasts you can find mermaids. While in the state of Guanajuato the "Lupitas" were created, made with cardboard technique, painted with floral outfits and geometric figures.

Cultural relevance

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During the 40's a cultural phenomenon emerged, the “Mexican curious”. This consisted of the arrival of foreigners to Mexico, attracted by the Mexican nationalism promoted by its leaders and artists.

Cat surprised by the news.
CREDIT: GIPHY / WHATSHOULDBIFFLEESCALLME

During this stage, they found a form of expression of "Lo Mexicano" in Maria dolls. Today, the Maria doll is a typical handicraft and it became a worthy adornment of Mexicanism. Few people actually use them as dolls to play with.

Currently, designers have taken on the task of putting them on t-shirts, posters, piggy banks or murals.

What is the Maria doll made of

Something that is worth mentioning is that although the original doll is dark, it is preferred by regular consumers to be white or not so dark. So the natives have changed the skin color of their original doll.

The original doll is made of poplin, blot, threads, ribbons, yarn and paint. It must be filled in until it is “fair”.

Amealco, Land of the Marias

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Its tourist interest has grown so much that even the town of Amealco in Querétaro have made the production of this Mexican handicraft their main source of income.

Since 2013, the National Festival of Craft Dolls was established. Since 2014, the Doll Museum was inaugurated where there are only handmade dolls, both national and international.

Marías A La Moda

Marias from Max Mara and Veronica Etro
CREDIT: PAULA TRENDSETS

This simple rag doll has a great international impact and is so important to our culture that it has even worn outfits by the most prestigious designers.

During Vogue magazine's Fashion's Night Out 2011 in Mexico, an exhibition of Maria dolls was held inside the Museum of Popular Art, but dressed and reinterpreted by designers such as Christian Cota, Swarovski, Kenzo, Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste, Nicole Miller or Vince Camuto.

Maria doll dressed with Lacoste brand garments.
CREDIT: SPOKESMAN

This Mexican doll is resistant to the beauty standards imposed and thanks to its authenticity it has won the recognition of the whole world. So consider this beautiful craft to become part of your little girl's treasures. In addition, this way you will have another option to buy instead of buying pure Barbies.

Mila Kulis styling a barbie with pink hair.
CREDIT: GIPHY / MISSINGTHE90S

Finally, do not forget to consume Mexican and artisan products. Be proud of your culture!

Homer Simpson singing nacho man.
CREDIT: TUMBLR / SIMPSONS LATINO

Show your children the most beautiful places in Mexico with this original and fun board game: Mexican Monopoly: Click Here To Read: Most Cultural and Original Board Game

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