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Traditional art Performance
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Girls’ Doll-making Game

Overview

Girls’ Doll-making Game

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Traditional games are among the Emirati performing arts which are considered an important part of inherited traditions and culture stemming from the nature of life. 


They have simple rules, whether played individually or in groups. Additionally, they have a lot of benefits, especially the fun and entertainment made by chants and songs accompanying the games. Males and females rely on themselves, develop their social relationships, embody the spirit of solidarity and cooperation, and activate their memory while learning to appreciate innovation and creativity. An example of this is the "Girls Models" game, which was one of the popular games for girls in the United Arab Emirates in the past. 


It prepares girls to understand their future roles and to become knowledgeable mothers and skilled housewives. Girls often play the game from about 6 to 12 years old, and they themselves determine the time of play as they please. As for the place, it is usually inside a house or outside nearby, and sometimes it is in the desert, especially when families move. 


This game is accompanied by songs and chants, and the game is known in most Arab countries by various names. As for the group of girls participating in the game, it consists mostly of girls from the same family, sometimes with other girls from the neighbourhood.1 The girls usually gather, with each bringing her gear, like scraps of coloured fabrics, needles, threads, and cotton to make dolls from cloth to play with during their spare time.


 They form the cloth into the shape of dolls and then stuff them with cotton. The names they give their dolls are derived from the names of real characters chosen by the girls. The girls also make costumes and add other cosmetic elements. Then, each girl puts her bride in a small box that serves as the house; this is called the "Bride's House", and it contains mattresses, cushions, and cooking utensils. 


There is also a place for the baby to sleep in the manz, which is the baby's bed, and which girls also make out of matches before placing the baby in it. Then, the players begin to imitate these characters, imitating their movements and sounds, representing the social relationships that usually occur in families. Nowadays, this game has evolved so that dolls are made of plastic, and some are battery powered and emit sounds and even move.2

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