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Egyptian Barbie: Princess Of The Nile

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Egyptian Barbie: Princess of the Nile
Up to date on December 28, 2014 Ellen Brundige extra A unique Lesson on Historical Egypt…with Barbie!
Whereas I am not a doll collector, I like Barbie’s “Princess of the Nile” design as a enjoyable instance of “Egyptomania.” Let’s study her costume and learn about Ancient Egypt through her retro vogue equipment!

But first, let me tell you a bit of about the wild and wacky world of Egyptomania. Some artwork historians are appalled by it. I enjoy it. It’s yet extra proof that Egypt is the most profitable civilization ever: it lasted over 3000 years, and even two millennia after the Romans conquered it, it just will not die! Speak about an afterlife.

What is Egyptomania
Merely put, Egyptomania is Egyptian kitsch, the resurrection of ancient Egypt in standard culture. You’ve seen it: everything from Egyptian tarot decks to symbols on U.S. cash to Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider and Stargate.

The West’s obsession with Egypt started with the Greeks and Romans. It looks like everybody from Augustus Caesar to Elizabeth Taylor has dressed up as a pharaoh, or no less than been portrayed as one. Fads of Egyptian kitsch recur repeatedly, from Emperor Hadrian’s grandiose portraits of his bff to the Napoleonic Revival (inspiring the Washington Monument) to Art Deco. How can you not love it

Barbie and Egyptomania – A Vogue Tradition
Barbie has gotten in on Egyptomania as effectively. In actual fact, she’s executed it several occasions. There’s an Egyptian Queen Barbie and two incredible Cleopatra Barbies modeled on Elizabeth Taylor’s most famous role. These dolls, however, are not based upon Egyptian art so much as on obscure notions and stereotypes of historic Egyptian gown.

The “Princess of the Nile” Barbie, alternatively, relies on real Egyptian art. I instantly acknowledged most of her costume details. So now that you simply understand that our humble Barbie doll is the heir to a protracted tradition of western celebrities attempting to “Walk Like Egyptians,” let’s take a better look at her outfit.

Princess of the Nile Barbie – Designed By Heather Fonseca
Barbie’s “Princess of The Nile” Costume, Head-to-Toe Style
I can see that designer Heather Fonseca did her research. She will need to have dug by rather a lot of latest Kingdom Egyptian art, especially the well-known treasures from Tutankhamun’s tomb, to put together this ensemble. (This is Ms. Fonseca’s idea art sketch for the doll on this Barbie fansite).

The colors are genuine, meant to evoke the gold, turquoise, lapis lazuli, carnelian, and coloured glass (faience) commonly used in Egyptian jewelry and art.

(Element of head/shoulders: See Picture by Mary Harrsh.)
Discover Her on Amazon
Princess of the Nile Barbie Doll – Dolls of the World Collector Edition (2001) Buy Now Click on thumbnail to view full-dimension Barbie’s Crown
See this fabulous fan photo of the “Princess of the Nile” Barbie for an in depth-up of her crown to match.

The Uraeus, a golden cobra, adorns the crowns of many Egyptian pharaohs. Barbie’s uraeus is paired with a vulture head. Many Egyptian symbols memorialize the truth that Egypt was originally two distinct kingdoms, Higher (up-river) Egypt and Decrease (down-river) Egypt, typically represented by the vulture-goddess Nekhbet and the cobra-goddess Wadjet. I think Barbie’s uraeus-crown may be impressed by King Tutankhamun’s crown, which is duplicated on his famous golden mask and coffins, mixed along with his stepmother ( ) Nefertiti’s spiffy diadem (the band around her crown).

Barbie’s Wig
Historic Egyptians had been very involved about private hygiene. Nevertheless, in these days there were no bug sprays, and doorways and windows did not seal tightly. To maintain away lice, well-to-do Egyptians shaved themselves and wore wigs!

They might add perfume, beads, or other accessories, or go bald on really hot days. The small, tight braids they favored have been less more likely to change into messy and more more likely to deter pests than free hair.

Thoughts you, some Egyptian queens kept their hair. King Tut’s grandma Queen Tiye retained beautiful hair, nonetheless connected to her mummy.

Egyptian Eye Make-Up
Kohl eyeliner was used by each women and men to accentuate the eyes and function a form of greasepaint, dampening the intense glare of the Egyptian solar. It was made from powdered galena (lead ore, barely poisonous!), powdered malachite or, more not often, iron oxide.

Egyptian Collar
Egyptian nobility gown up with wide beaded necklaces of faience or treasured stones. Most mummies and portraits present a collar-like necklace of this type, as you may see from the examples above. (in fact, a good friend introduced me an affordable faience knock-off from trendy-day Egypt).

Egyptian Barbie’s beaded collar significantly reminds me of a mummy portrait of Thuya, King Tutankhamun’s great-grandmother.

Barbie’s Pendant
Barbie’s “pectoral” (from Latin pectus, chest/breastbone) ornament is obviously based onthis pectoral of King Tut. In reality, he had multiple necklaces featuring this design, which showcases the hieroglyphs of one other of his four royal names. From bottom to prime, bowl-scarab-solar reads Neb-Kheper-Re, “[the supreme god] Re, Lord of Changing into.”

The winged scarab is a typical image of the sun and creation in ancient Egypt, because real Egyptian scarabs roll balls of dung (yuck!) across the bottom just like the solar rolling throughout the sky. Scarabs lay their eggs in these balls, and after a time new beetles magically hatch from the ball. Egyptians acknowledged many symbols of life and rebirth, and weren’t squeamish about fertilizer.

In reality, looking more intently, I believe that the background of our doll’s pectoral has been altered slightly: as a substitute of spelling out Tut’s name, it reveals an ankh beneath the beetle, the looped cross (actually, a mirror) which is a hieroglyph meaning “life.”

Barbie’s Bracelets
I have never found any actual matches for “Princess of the Nile” Barbie’s bracelets, however they’re clearly meant to be gold inset with lapis lazuli or blue faience. Their fashion is similar to King Tut’s scarab bracelet. As an alternative of a scarab, Barbie’s bracelets have an udjat, an “Eye of Horus” design, one other frequent Egyptian motif.

Barbie’s Gown
“Princess of the Nile” Barbie is sporting a fashionable New Kingdom Egyptian gown, the semi-transparent pleated linen garment favored by Egyptian nobles across the time of King Tut. The below-sheath is white in all the paintings I’ve seen; both I’ve missed a very ornate instance, or designer Fonseca selected gold to assist the physique stand out (Egyptians did love gold, in spite of everything) and keep away from the extra traditional see-by effect. [Replace: Ms. Fonseca confirmed to me through e-mail that the gold underskirt is “pure Hollywood glamour!” I’m positive that Egyptian princesses of this interval would have loved the glitz if they may have discovered tailors to make it.]

The two lengthy panels or ribbons remind me of Queen Ankhesenamun’s gown, portrayed in a touching image of the younger queen and her husband Tut on the again of Tutankhamun’s throne. Fonseca has added more Eyes of Horus to the bottom of the ribbons. (Here’s a barely clearer picture of the again of Tut’s throne.)

What Do You Think of the Princess of the Nile Barbie
So, what do you consider our Egyptian Barbie

She’s cool!
She’s tacky!

She’s nice, and that i personal one!
I need one!

I want the Elizabeth Taylor Barbie
See outcomes Courting Barbie “Princess of the Nile”
I would say fourteenth century BCE, since she seems like a contemporary of King Tutankhamun. He died in 1323 BCE throughout what known as the “New Kingdom,” the final and greatest flowering of historic Egypt before youthful civilizations like Persia, Greece and Rome began to compete with and finally conquer it. When Tut was alive, the pyramids had already been standing for over a thousand years.

[Update] Ms. Fonseca adds that she was especially inspired by an exhibit of Amarna Period Egyptian art at the Met. The Amarna interval is a phenomenal part of Egyptian artwork and costume that swept through Egypt during the generation earlier than King Tut, and it continued all through his reign. You have most likely seen one among its most famous examples, the portrait bust of Tut’s stepmother Queen Nefertiti. To learn about King Tut and his household (with newly-found DNA proof), see this National Geographic article on King Tut’s Household Secrets and techniques.

Make Your individual Egyptian Princess Gown
Historical Egypt: Egyptian Clothing Sample

I hope you’ve enjoyed this unusual lesson on historic Egyptian costume and symbols. Please drop a observe or share if you already know anyone fascinated in the historical world…or Barbies!

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ingridpalmer 4 years ago
Very fascinating and stunning lens.

KimGiancaterino 5 years in the past
She’s gorgeous! I like what Mattel has performed with the Barbie line.

WriterJanis2 5 years ago
Very enjoyable and cute way to study Egypt. Blessed.

Wendy Leanne 5 years in the past from Texas
Wow, she guardians of the galaxy star wars shirt jacket is so pretty. I’ve by no means heard of the Egyptian Barbie earlier than. I enjoyed reading your lens and learning something new. *~blessed~*

BestRatedStuff 5 years ago
Learn every word. Loved all of the little tit-bits you added, and your interaction with the designer. It’s good realizing the whys and wherefores of a product. Like the doll too.

rawwwwwws lm 5 years ago
Great lens! I like the intro layout. Love the colors.

mouse1996 lm 5 years ago
Great lens. I am a doll lover and cherished studying this lens.

Paula7928 5 years in the past
Nice lens! My son loves Egyptian toys so if he was a lady I’d get him the Egyptian Barbie!

WebWriteGirl LM 5 years in the past
Wow, she is gorgeous! I love this lens! Thanks for sharing it!

agoofyidea 5 years in the past
I had never seen this Barbie, however she could be a enjoyable addition to any collection.

LisaDH 6 years ago
I never knew you could possibly be taught so much from a Barbie doll! And I am incredibly impressed that you just contacted the designer to affirm your opinion on the gold underskirt.

Shelly Sellers 6 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.
The Egyptian Barbie is one I haven’t seen. She seems to be so different from the standard ones. Properly accomplished and you deserve a Squid Blessing.

Tonie Cook 6 years in the past from USA
History through the eyes of Barbie! Wonderfully informative and educational. Bravo! Might all who view this lens learn one thing new.

slackira 6 years in the past
Good lens.

Blessed by a SquidAngel 🙂
nameless 6 years ago

Wow, Barbie sure has come along way since I had one 🙂
BrandonJames926 6 years in the past

I had no concept they made specialty Barbies like this. None the much less, Egyptian Barbie sounds like quite the area of interest! ; )

Rachellewms 6 years in the past
“I prefer Elizabeth Taylor Barbie.” Good One! That is an excellent lens.

NoYouAreNot 6 years ago
@mythphile: Yes, I think it is best to!

Jimmie Lanley 6 years in the past from Memphis, TN, USA
Love this lens since you managed to show me one thing based on Barbie — fluffy, silly, pointless BARBIE!

Brookelorren LM 6 years in the past
This is superb. I didn’t know that you could possibly be taught so much from a Barbie doll.

@MagpieNest: Oh yes! I donated mine to Goodwill, but guardians of the galaxy star wars shirt jacket just a few friends gave me some of them in college. They have been nice.

There’s additionally a fun Egyptian wood blocks set with little lotus-topped columns that I gave to my cousins. I should most likely make a lens on enjoyable Egypt-themed toys, should not I

MagpieNest 6 years in the past
Glorious stuff! I have to admit I’m rather tempted by the Egyptian Playmobil vary.

AuthorEllen Brundige 6 years ago from California
@greenspirit: I’ve always felt like that about Barbie, too. I used to be deeply suspicious of them as a child. I used to be at first a little bit appalled to discover she’s now styling herself as the goddess Athena and varied historical figures, however hey, this is so much higher than the “Math Is hard!” speaking Barbie that raised the ire of my college mates in the 90s.

poppy mercer 6 years ago from London
Can’t believe I find myself on a Barbie doll lens….however this is great. The Egyptian artwork fashion was an awesome breakthrough, and has been influencing artwork movements ever since. I like the Art Deco model which is another Egyptian influenced phase. If you have any issues regarding where and how to use BB-8, you can get in touch with us at the internet site. Having by no means been into Barbie, I had no idea that she did anything other than inhabit teen pop guardians of the galaxy star wars shirt jacket tradition in a rather vacant approach, but I stand corrected.

darciefrench lm 6 years in the past
Superior job on this Egyptian lens – even if it’s a couple of barbie doll -:)

Christene-S 6 years in the past
Great lens idea for you! Love the mix of pop tradition and historical past. 🙂