Traditional Folk Art Doll of Puerto Rico

Name:  Dona Na Na, a La Familia Doll

Made by and When: Ivelisse Pabon, 2002

Material:  Cloth, lace, embroidery thread

Marks: Signed by the artist on the left and right legs as follows:

Left Leg: La Familia / San Juan, Puerto Rico / 2002

Right Leg: Pabon

The front of the hang tag reads: La Familia / Ivelisse Pabon / Artesana / Viejo San Juan Plaza Darsenas

The back of the hang tag in Spanish reads:

Dona Na~Na
La ama de llave la mujer principal de la casa de amo. Perparaba la comida, planchaba, y cuidaba los ninos. Hombro con hombro trabajo las fincas de cana.

La muneca tradicional de Puerto Rico Hecho a mano.


Dona Na~Na
The housekeeper is the main woman of the master’s house. She prepared the food, ironed, and took care of the children. Shoulder to shoulder I work the cane farms.

The traditional doll from Puerto Rico. Handmade.

Height: 12 inches

Hair, Eyes, Mouth: A headwrap that matches the fabric of the skirt covers the head. The eyes and mouth are embroidered.

Clothes: A V-shaped lace bodice is attached to an orange, brown, and tan-print skirt. The feet are bare.

Other: The Puerto Rican artist, who has traced her African roots back to the 1700s, began making her version of traditional folklore dolls to keep the art of the tradition alive with only positive connotations. According to her biography, she named her dolls “Dona Na Na in memory of Magdelena Campos (the half-sister of Pedro Albizu Campos, a famous political figure). Dona Na Na as a child was a house servant in Ponce,” Puerto Rico of whom the artist has fond memories.

Read more about the artist here.



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Published by DeeBeeGee

Doll collector, historian, co-founder of the first e-zine devoted to collecting black dolls; author of black-doll reference books, doll blogs, and doll magazine articles.

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