‘Dominican Faceless Dolls’ at the Salem Armory Regional Visitor Center
Salem Maritime National Historic Site Announces Installation of Faceless Dominican Dolls, a bilingual exhibit (English/Spanish) on display May 7 through June 30, Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Salem Armory Regional Visitor Center, 2 New Liberty Street in Salem. Co-created with the North Shore Community Development Coalition (North Shore CDC), the exhibit celebrates Salem’s global connections and Caribbean culture with artwork and stories from residents of the Point neighborhood (also known as name of El Punto).
Faceless Dominican Dolls the inspiration comes from a popular craft from the Dominican Republic, Muñecas Limé. These small faceless ceramic figures symbolize Dominican women, culture and diversity. “Faceless Dominican Dolls fosters a connection with new and existing audiences to find cultural relevance to the site, particularly with Essex County’s Latinx community,” said Susan Russo, Visitor Experience and Community Engagement Program Manager.
“We are grateful for this partnership with Salem Maritime,” said Mickey Northcutt, General Manager of North Shore CDC. “The exhibit pays homage to the beautiful cultural significance of faceless Dominican dolls and members of the Dominican community in Salem.”
“This exhibit is special because it offers people from all walks of life, who are familiar with these dolls or seeing them for the first time, the opportunity to share their own stories through creative expression,” said Yinette Guzman, Design & Placemaking Project Manager at North Shore CDC. “These new works of art continue the tradition of Muñecas Limé and represent the identity and cultural heritage of each artist.”
The North Shore CDC selected nineteen paper dolls and three artist stories for Faceless Dominican Dolls. With biographies, poems, and personalized paper dolls, the exhibit shares Salem’s stories of migration, heritage, and intersecting identities. The exhibit’s co-creators invite visitors to share their own stories on interactive panels with questions centered around self-discovery and community.
The National Park Service gives special thanks to the Latino Heritage Internship Program (LHIP). Faceless Dominican Dolls follows a 2021 exhibition proposal and series of online resources developed by LHIP interns Tahmoor Chadury and Karla Bonilla. Visitors are welcome to explore further and create their own faceless paper doll by visiting www.nps.gov/articles/000/faceless-dolls.htm.