A magical universe, an invitation to travel around the world for the time of a visit, to discover cultural diversity through costumes, accessories and colours. This is what the Poupées du Monde exhibition in the heart of the Rabat medina offers us.
Strolling through the alleys of the medina, we are attracted by a poster hanging at the entrance of the rue-impasse Nakhla, formerly rue Fredj, in Boukroune, which indicates a permanent exhibition entitled “Dolls of the World”. Our curiosity as journalists quickly led us to go and discover this mysterious place, almost hidden from view.
We were immediately impressed by the multitude and diversity of the dolls on display. Moroccan, French, Russian, Japanese, Mauritanian, Chinese, Italian, American, … more than 2500 subjects make up this collection started in France at the beginning of the 60s and enriched during the following decades. A passion that took hold of a Franco-Moroccan couple, Abdeljalil and Marie Michèle Haffar, founders of the Museum, both of whom are passionate about dolls. They are above all driven by a desire to exchange and share these marvels with as many people as possible. Moreover, Mr Haffar reveals us, it is this desire to share with the other that motivated the couple to create this exhibition and not only to hide their collection.
A veritable living encyclopaedia of the world’s traditions and cultures, this exhibition represents the infinite variety of human imagination in terms of clothing, from aesthetic or practical variations and according to gender, age, climate, culture, religion, time and even social or marital status. “These dolls illustrate the emblematic costumes of countries, their regional variations, trades or historical figures,” Haffar says. In addition to the aesthetic aspect, the collection provides a documentary aspect on costumes still worn daily or only for special occasions, disappearing or disappearing in the era of globalisation and ready-to-wear. “Beyond the individual value of each doll, modest or not, and the pleasure of finding its origins, it is the discovery under the same roof of dolls from more than 90 countries and 5 continents that makes the value of this exhibition”, says the founder of this exhibition who never fails to remind that this passion has been matured by the couple for many years.
In the accompanying video we offer you a short guided tour through the wonderful world of dolls….