Bag Doll

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
The doll is puffy and round due to bags.
The doll is puffy and round due to bags.

This doll is a little worn out, but it functions just the same. It was given to my mother by her mother, and the basic function of the doll is to hold plastic bags that one would re-use. 

For me, growing up in Puerto Rico meant visiting lots and lots of relatives, and although every home was different, they all held something in common: A hand-made little doll with a puffy skirt, and plastic bags underneath. These dolls have always been placed in the kitchen since it is easier to access them if you ever run out of bags to throw out any trash while you're cooking. I never really thought anything of it at the time, just a creepy doll in the kitchen looming over you while it holds your bags, right?

After my mother and I moved to the United States and settled into our new home, something felt odd in the kitchen. We decorated it, redecorate it, but no matter how different it look there was always something missing... 

A few years had passed and I had stopped worrying about how the kitchen felt, that is until one day I arrived home from school and immediately noticed the pink-hair doll at a corner in the kitchen. Where did it come from? Was it always there? What? Then my mother says, "Mira lo que mando tu abuela, la muñequita de bolsa!" (Which roughly translates to "Look at what your grandmother sent. The little bag doll!") Naturally, I told my mother that the doll was creepy, but I was told to hush because it was a "cute" doll... I suppose it is a little cute, and besides, the kitchen now feels complete, and it truly does remind me of my home back in Puerto Rico. 

Place(s): Puerto Rico, New York
Year: 2005

– Genesis Ortiz

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant