Hello Dolly

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Photo by Everett McCourt

Fanny has long, chestnut-colored pig tails and a sad face. She’s yours for 89 pesos. Magy, with round cheeks and short curly hair, only costs 42 pesos. The German has blue eyes as shiny as the Caribbean on a sunny day, and Caro’s open mouth is scandalously suggestive. Either of them costs 95 pesos. They’re not B-girls or table dancers or prostitutes. They’re dolls, or rather, doll’s heads, with arms and legs alongside but not attached. In the store Muñecas Mary-Pily on Calle Jesús María, 87, it is possible, theoretically, to buy an entire doll, but its clientele tends to buy parts and a mold and put them together at home. “It’s cheaper that way,” says María de los Angeles Olivares, the manager. Confronting all the loose parts – heads, shoes, eyes of all colors – can be a disturbing experience. But don’t worry. Each Monday you can take a class on how to put them together.

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