Cuba was quite similar to Mexico in that the Spanish influence was very evident. Cuba was beautiful and fascinating but as you can imagine there were very few dolls, and certainly I didn’t see one single Barbie. I did see some really interesting dolls though. The doll below belonged to a fortune teller in the main square near our hotel in the old section of Havana (I could tell you the square but I’m too lazy to look it up). The doll was watching a space for her owner, and I can assure you it didn’t look like anyone was going to touch her, or even go near her, any time soon.
Guardian doll, Havana, Cuba
Fortunate teller, Havana, and her guardian doll
Somehow she was more than a mere fortunate-teller. More of a spirit guide really, and she reminded me strongly of the South American beliefs of Candomblé.
The other interesting thing found all over the places we visited was the dressed statues in churches. This figure has the most beautiful velvet dress and gold lace head scarf. You can see in many of these images that a woman covering her head is by no means unusual in many cultures.
Black Madonna or saint, Basilica Menor de San Francisco de Asis, Old Havana, Cuba (I don’t know the significance of the pole-axe).
The image below was taken in an artists’ street in Havana and was mostly African Cuban works. This little corner is decorated with various figures, and the black dolls heads on the two stumps are intriguing.
Street garden, Old Havana
There were other dressed figures in various churches. There was so much to see the image below is just one example of embroidered clothes on figures of saints or madonnas.
These tiny wire figures were also found everywhere.
Small wood and wire figures, Havana market.
Lastly, because I liked the horse (OK, the guy is cute too, but anyone under thirty is cute when you are as old as I am). I didn’t have time to compose the shot, only a few seconds.
Horse and rider, Trinidad de Cuba, Cuba