Never a Doll Moment: Re-headed Brazilian dolls, and beheaded historical ones

Becky
filed under: myths
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Lampião (1898-1938), born Virgulino Ferreira da Silva, was a bandit considered a Robin Hood of Northeast Brazil by his apologists (though isn't the job of all apologists to liken their bad boys to Robin Hoods?). His life of crime commenced when his father was murdered in a 1919 police raid, and thereafter he could be found trampling through the Brazilian badlands with his band of cancageiros. His targets were the macacos (monkeys, aka the police), but soon generally extended to anyone he pleased.

dLampião--the nickname means "oil lamp" in Portuguese--was allegedly a vain man who capitalized on photo ops with his troops, which included women. Maria Bonita was one of these cangaceiros--she had Lampião's baby and died with him in the fatal showdown. Despite their gruesome life and death, Maria & Lampião have been immortalized via the his & hers dolls (pictured) you may be familiar with if you've spent time in Brazil.

Hmm. Thankfully, their heads have been restored, but if you're someone who prefers that their historical dolls reflect their particular fates, then you can shop around at Headless Historicals ("Because History is Violent"). If you're looking for a Francoise-Therese de Choiseul-Stainville doll to decorate your Halloween porch, this is the place.

They also have a riveting FAQ, which includes gems like:

How come some of the dolls aren't headless?

7ec6_1.JPG.jpgWe liked the name "Headless Historicals" for the website, but we also remember that not all executions were created equally. If someone died in a manner that was particularly interesting to us, such as Queen Brunhilde being dragged to her death tied to the tail of a wild horse, then we'll try to capture the moment in a doll.

Are all your doll subjects victims of execution?

No. While originally we started just doing figures throughout history who were executed, we started including subjects who met their end in other terrible ways...especially with the more contemporary subjects since modern execution methods are not nearly as graphic as they were in the past. Our first American icons, Isadora Duncan and Jayne Mansfield, were both victims of terrible automobile accidents.

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October 1, 2007 - 1:24pm
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