top of page

The whole culture of handmade Mexican Dolls

In Mexico there is a huge variety of "muñecas de trapo" dolls, but the most recognized and famous are the Maria doll, the Donoxu doll and the Lele doll. You will recognize them by their traditional dress and their braids with colorful ribbons, these dolls are full of tradition and history of the indigenous culture in Mexico.

It is very common to find the dolls in any market, streets and tourist plazas in Mexico, which are made by the indigenous Otomi and Mazahua women. They migrated in the seventies to the capital of Mexico in search of better life opportunities, giving their main craft activity which is to make textiles such as sashes, backpacks, shawls, skirts and dolls.

These indigenous groups remain in the central zone of Mexico, in the state of Hidalgo, Querétaro, State of Mexico, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Puebla and Veracruz. In 2018, the handmade doll of Amealco was declared Cultural Heritage of the State of Querétaro along with the Donxu, originally from Santiago Mexquititlan.

Today, you can find too many "muñecas de trapo", who represent the way indigenous women dress with their black hair braided with brightly colored ribbons, embroidered blouse and their skirt full of colors and life. The objective was not to be a toy, but to protect the children from evil spirits, and that is why each design and dress they make has a very ancient and special meaning in the culture.

In each region of the country different versions have been created, some braid the ribbons with the hair while others create crowns along the head with colorful ribbons. Their size and skirt colors are the differences that can be noticed in Mexican rag dolls.

Most are handmade with embroidered blanket fabrics. Marias dolls are the most popular, in some regions they are 100% handmade, measuring between 5 and 60 centimeters tall. Other versions are the Lele Doll and the Donxu Doll, which differ in that Donxu has a white hat and has a long-sleeved blouse with a high collar and a poplin or blanket skirt, and the Lele Doll has a hairstyle of two braids with ribbons hanging on the sides and a blouse of satin fabric.

2,233 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page