Hundreds of dolls symbolize world cultures since 1950s

Hundreds of dolls symbolize world cultures since 1950s

ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Hundreds of dolls symbolize world cultures since 1950s

Dolls in Fadime Geleş’s (below) collection symbolize the features of various cultures from all around the world. AA photo

Turkish art historian and collector Fadime Geleş brings together different cultures in her 1,000-piece doll collection. In the collection she has dolls from Indian, Afghan, Japanese and Guatemala cultures along with many others.

Geleş began collecting the dolls, which are rarely found on the mainstream market, at a time in her life when she has was researching the Ottoman toys, but said that her collection changed direction since the number of Ottoman dolls was too low and they were very hard find.

Geleş began adding European models of dolls to her collection. “My collection includes model dolls produced in Europe starting at the beginning of the century until the 1950s. Their head, body and feet are made of porcelain and other parts of their body and their costumes are handmade.”

According to Geleş the dolls were first produced for different reasons than dolls are nowadays. “Today dolls remind us of children, but the first production of dolls date back to the Neolithic period. The first dolls were found in graves in 3,000 BC. They were made of clay, tatter, bone and many other various materials. They were mostly used for religious aims and magic.”

Geleş said that those dolls are believed to bring good luck in some cultures and are used during rain prayers in some cultures. “These dolls began to serves as toys for the first time in red Indian culture,” she said.

Her collection included luck dolls from India and Guatemala, Eskimo dolls, Indian puppetry
theater dolls, totem dolls and many others from Turkmenistan and various parts of Europe.

In the future Geleş wants to open a museum. “I am visiting bibliopoles to extend my collection. I want to get a Red Indian Kachina doll. I also want to open a museum with a friend who is also collecting dolls,” Geleş said.