Published on March 18th, 2013 | by Chris Justice
Dominican Republic faceless dolls, a unique souvenir
The “Faceless Doll” is a very unique handicraft from the Dominican Republic. There is not a single replica of these dolls because they are all handmade and hand painted, which make not two dolls alike. The special thing with his souvenir is the unfinished face which is just a smooth surface, but why is it so?
This unfinished face holds a lot of history that goes beyond the colorful design. Originally created by the Dominican artist Liliana Mera Lime back in 1981 and still created nowadays by other thousands of artists, this doll has become one of the most famous handicrafts in the Dominican Republic.
Liliana Mera says that when she had to add features to the doll’s face she was in the dilemma of how to represent every individual ethnicity of the Dominican culture in just one face? So she left a clean smooth surface which represents in its own way every racial group, indigenous, immigrants from different countries and all Dominicans worldwide.
Nowadays many artisans in the country have taken up the task of producing these amazing dolls.
Red clay is the traditional material for making Lime Dolls. After the burning process, red clay takes on a deep burnt orange color that is vibrant and certainly eye-catching. Today, the dolls are made of other materials, such as porcelain, plaster and brightly colored clays.
You should look for Gift Shops tucked away on side streets, in hotels or in shopping malls. Those are the places to find authentic Dominican arts and crafts, like the Faceless Doll, or you can choose to take our Dominican Republic Shopping Tour.