Handmade OOAK Mapuchi Indian 'Machi' Cloth Doll by Vaudeville Hippie

A Cloth Doll For My Dad: Mapuchi Shamen ‘Machi’: 

“when the village is rocked by a series of gruesome and apparently ritualistic killings, it soon becomes clear the local police are up against dark forces…” (CRY OF THE MACHI, A SUFFOLK MURDER MYSTERY – Alan s. blood) 

story behind the cloth doll

This cloth doll was inspired by the title of my dad’s book ‘Cry of the Machi’, which is a fictional novel that weaves together a murder mystery involving Mapuche Indian shamanic rituals with the quaint English tradition of Morris Dancing.
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mapuche indian ‘machis’

Machis are usually female with a similar role to that of a shaman.  She plays a central role in traditional Mapuche culture.  They perform many rituals, which include; trying to ward off disease and evil spirits and influencing the weather for a better harvest.
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creating the machi look

Other than the descriptions in my dad’s book, I did not know much about Machis before starting this doll and naturally I did a google image search and created a Pinterest board to get me started.

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the clothing

The machi dolls’ clothing on a combination of images that I researched with the fabrics I already had in my material collection.  Many of the pictures showed the women wearing patterned dresses over long sleeved blue shirts, which became my starting point.
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the details

The look is accompanied with a tartan shawl (similar to my traditional Welsh doll) and heavily adorned jewellery, usually discs of metal.  Her main piece of jewellery and bracelets were adapted from necklaces and beads I bought from a second hand store and the cloak is held together with a crescent button that I already had. This, I felt fit in nicely with the shamanic and magical element.

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the machi headdress

The Machis’ outfit is completed with an elaborate and floral headpiece. My version was created from a piece of elasticated fabric, decorated with a handmade fabric flower and additional pieces of silver discs to echo her necklace using the same piece of adapted jewellery.  To create her thick black hair, I cut up strips of old T-shirt material that I stretched slightly to encourage the fabric to curl a little and to soften any harsh edges.

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exploring other cultures

This has been a great opportunity to explore clothing and culture from other traditions and at some point I would like to research and make other dolls inspired by people around the world.

2 thoughts on “A Cloth Doll For My Dad: Mapuchi Shamen ‘Machi’: 

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