Monday, October 2, 2017

Doll-A-Day 2017 #274:Hungarian Matyo Dolls

   This post has been updated, thanks to a couple of astute readers who informed me that these are,in fact,Hungarian dolls. The text has changed throughout, so if you have read it before, you haven't really...
 Today's dolls are these two colourful little ladies.

They are Hungarian dolls, dressed in the traditional costume of the Matyo region of Northeastern  Hungary,particularly from the town of Mezokovesd.

Matyo is known for it's unique and colourful embroidery. There is a great page with loads of pictures and a video, which you can find HERE.

I originally thought they might be German dolls with pom pom hats.. Like this:

They have beautiful faces.           

They look identical at first, but look closer. they really aren't.

I'm guessing that's the result of hand painting.
They have bendable arms.

And they are both carrying lace hankies.

"This thing's full of holes. How are you supposed to blow your nose on it?!"

And of course, they have those pom pom hats.

Holy cow! Those pom poms really are almost as big as their heads!

There's so much colour and detail in their clothing.

Their aprons are embroidered.

The aprons tie in the back with this trim...

...that reminds me so much of the trim used on these two dolls,which these girls remind me of alot:

This doll is mine, and you can read and see more about her HERE.

This doll is Ivy's, and you can read and see more about her HERE.
 Other than being more pale than the other dolls,and the older girls being slightly smaller,( just under 6" to these girls' 7"), there are a lot of similarities. The random fabric the clothes are made of,like maybe they were made from leftover fabric pieces,the hand painted faces, which are also similar in style,and some of the fabrics used. They all have the exact same ribbed pink fabric for arms.


Their legs are made of an unribbed fabric. I'm thinking it would have looked more realistic to have the arms made out of the unribbed, (Who has ribbed arms?) and the legs made out of the ribbed fabric,so it would look like tights. 

The new girls have shiny plastic shoes that are sewn similarly to the older dolls' shoes.

The shoes being plastic, instead of the leather or leather look fabric the other girls' shoes are made of, make me think that  the new girls are not nearly as old.

Their dresses have a lot of pleats,and trim.

Only the one has the flared skirt, so I'm thinking it may have not been intentional!

  I spotted these at a thrift store last week and got really excites,because they reminded me so much of the other girls, which I LOVE.

They're what's known as 'travel dolls' or 'souvenir dolls',because they are made to sell to tourists and their clothes represent authentic regional folk costumes.

See you tomorrow when we'll look at another doll.


  1. I'm pretty sure these dolls are Hungarian and not German. The embroidery on their skirts looked similar to embroidered flowers on some doilies that a Hungarian friend gave to me. I did a little research and found some women wearing what were labeled as Hungarian folk costumes. The pom poms they were wearing on their heads were also very colorful, like your dolls are wearing. Not like the plain red ones the Germans wear.

    1. Thanks. As I said in the other comment, I think you're right. I'm changing the title. The trouble was in not knowing what to look up.I guess if I had known they were Hungarian I could have looked up Hungarian folk costumes and found out they were Hungarian. (??!!)I think the others I showed, as well as this doll: may be Hungarian too. I saw some very similar ones when I looked up Hungarian dolls after you guys told me this. What do you think?

    2. Well, I had an advantage in that I thought the dolls were Hungarian, but when I did my initial search, I searched for "eastern european folk costume pom pom hat," just in case the dolls were from somewhere else close by.

      I was doing a little researching for the other dolls you showed above, when I found this page. The very first doll on that page resembles yours, with the floral print head piece, red shawl and red boots, so she probably is Hungarian.

      Ivy's doll is a mystery to me. I asked somebody who has an extensive blog about folk costumes all over the world to stop by and take a look at your original post about her. Maybe he will.

      I also found a website showing Polish folk dolls here since you are interested in dolls in folk costumes. Maybe you can use this for reference if you find more dolls, which I imagine you will!

    3. Well thanks. You've put some work into this! Usually I'm pretty good about key words and things for searching for information on something, but I didn't even think of Googling 'pom pom hat'. I'm slipping! I had forgotten that the doll I gave you the link to was definitely identified as Hungarian by a Hungarian reader.As for Ivy's doll,I saw some that were very similar when I looked up these girls after you commented. Of course, you always get some things that have no business in there, but I think that was right. I'll certainly check out the page you gave the link to. I'll have to bookmark it for future reference. And,yes,I still have some dolls that need identifying.Thanks again!

  2. Nice dolls, the clothing looks Hungarian to me, see this link

    1. Thanks.I believe you and Barb are right. After looking at pictures online of a lot of Hungarian dolls,I'm changing the title accordingly. I think the other two I mentioned in this post, and another one I did a post on during the last Doll-A-Day, ,are probably also Hungarian.


Thanks in advance for your comments.