After discovering the class disparity in shopping in high end malls compared to the low end street vendors, we began discovering individual artisans who create for their culture. By this I mean, those talented few who create beautiful things that represent the values–perhaps the soul–of their people. The products found in a particular home workshop in San Cristobal, a town adjacent to Santo Domingo, seem to be just that. I’ve given the contact information on my post, “Why Call Dominos the National Game?”
Behind this interesting cast-iron fence, the neighbor’s yellow dog ever vigilant above, craftsmen of all ages create doll parts in a myriad of colors and styles in a multi-class neighbourhood.
Made of a lightweight compound, the blank-faced little dolls are surprisingly durable. They come in a variety of skin tones, hair colors, and sizes. The little girls wear brilliantly colored dresses and bows and flowers and frills.
Most interesting to us were the Victoria line because of its apparent historical derivations. In our living room, the Victoria-with-vegetables doll holds a place of honor.
We also loved the nativity sets available in various lively colors. Some sets include wooden structures above the figures. Some designs involve much larger figures and many more characters are depicted. We photographed some of the figures you see here on our visit to place an order, and the others when we picked up our order. The home workshop doesn’t have a regular display area and we saw new versions of boxes, nativities, and dolls each time we came.
The angels in white come in several variations, some to stand and others to hang on the tree. The little red Santa girls, also drying on a tray outside, look completely festive, don’t they?
The artisans also work with wood and create well-made boxes, trays, and domino sets of all sorts and sizes. If you feel like a tourist that day, you can purchase a tray with a tropical picture enameled on it. I prefer my sandal wood plain, thanks.