Barbie Dressed as La Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Artifacts, Primary Sources, Artifacts
Date Posted: 9/19/2009

This Barbie doll is costumed and accessorized as a representation of The Virgin of Caridad del Cobre, Patron Saint of Cuba. The doll wears the ornate blue and gold robe characteristic of the Virgin in other depictions in religious cards, carvings, and statues. The figure has a crown and is holding a baby (Barbie's brother doll), representing the image of Jesus, and an orb and a crucifix. The doll is mounted on a plaster base. Below the doll is a paper boat on painted cloth to represent the sea, with three doll figures on the boat that represent the fishermen lost at sea that the Virgin saves. Three angels are suspended above the boat. Mixed materials including glass, fabric, plastic, gold braid, plaster, paper, paint, and synthetic jewels. Made by Armando Pérez, a man of Cuban descent, living in Hatillo, Puerto Rico, at the time he sold this doll to the Smithsonian.

Use this Investigation Sheet to guide students through describing the object and analyzing its meaning.