They are the Mama and Chichi dolls of the island nation of Curacao- and they are gorgeous! Anywhere you go in Curacao, you cannot miss these two dolls sitting beside one another. These iconic figures are a tangible example of the area's culture and the body positivity they promote.
Look at Mama- she is happy, colorfully adorned, and with her child. The Chichi doll stands for the Caribbean "big sister," who is voluptuous, proud, and strong. She is the open and warm-hearted older sister that supports Mama and takes care of the younger siblings.
Hortense Brouwn created many of the statues you may see in the area. Hers are the versions cast in bronze and usually sitting quietly on a hillside. In fact, many visitors to the islands and the statues will sit and talk with the Mamas. They are so lifelike and are truly indicative of the diverse culture and sizes of Caribbean women.
The art pieces created by German/Caribbean transplant artist, Serena Israel, are an evident exaggeration of the female form. These dolls come in travel size and monumental sculptures and are beloved among the people of Curacao and the Caribbean. After all, the arms of the jovial Mama and Chichi are open wide, welcoming all, or her hands quietly clasp in a silent moment.
Each Mama and Chichi is a bit different, just like the island women and women worldwide. But one thing is true of all the statues, big and small. They are the strength, heritage, and affection of the people of the Caribbean.
The Importance of Body Positivity
The essence of Mama and Chichi helps promote the idea of positive body image among the islanders by showing the body has nothing to do with the soul of a woman. Women come in all shapes, sizes, and colors- but love and happiness transcend norms. And I think you'd agree, that is precisely what we need to portray to young ladies no matter where they live.
We could all learn from the Curacaoans to embrace our unique and beautiful sisters and spread happiness.
CITED: Curacaoactivities.com, Uncommoncaribbean.com, bbc.com