Monday, July 22, 2013

Bonecas

Boneca [Port.] (bo-nay-cah):  A small doll or figurine, usually representing a baby or other human being, especially for use as a child's toy.  

In Mozambique, little boys like to create cars out of garbage and build make-shift weapons. Their play, in general, is competitive (war games, sports) or focused on control (wheels, cars). Little girls, on the other hand, choose themes like play-kitchen, play-laundry, or play-mothering. Their play tends to mimic the actions of their mothers, aunts, and older sisters. 

Play-mothering is the most common form of make-believe, and involves the use of a boneca (doll).  In Zobue, a doll can be anything from a used stuffed animal to a clay figurine to a plastic bottle.  Most girls will tie up their bonecas in a capulana and go about their daily tasks, mirroring their mothers.  

It's adorable.  

The original capulana baby, also included in last year's Toys
A baby bear, cared for lovingly
A baby buffalo
Jovita and her baby rhino
Gilda and her second-hand doll 
Tabita and her clay doll (named Jovita, after her sister)
Tabita swaddles her boneca 
Feta and her clay doll (modeled after sister Tabita)
Bonita and her clay boneca
Alzira and her clay boneca

While clay-babies and bottle-babies are the easiest to make, stuffed animals and baby dolls are cherished and cared for with a deeper devotion and for a longer duration.  After all, a clay-baby can be smooshed and rebuilt again.  A stuffed baby animal is practically real.

And just as used clothing makes it way to Africa, used toys can be found for sale, too.  I've seen headless pandas, threadbare puppets, and broken Barbies swaddled and cared for and treated like new.  Little girls have a strong capacity for imagination and tender compassion.  

Realistically, this is where Woody the Cowboy and his gang ended up.  Such renewal and second-hand love make a much more touching (and accurate) ending for the Toy Story series.

61 comments:

  1. That is so sweet that around the world girls will make a doll out of anything.

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    Replies
    1. Right!? Actually, that was my original first line--

      "It's amazing that, all around the world, all little girls follow the same patterns of behavior."

      I was exactly the same way. So cute!

      Delete
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