In today's country series we focus on toys from the Dominican Republic.
We are particularly interested in wooden toys from other countries, but also toys made from natural materials that are sustainably produced. We also direct our focus on one or the other typical game, but curiosities shouldn't be neglected either.
Dominoes - A very popular board game in the Caribbean
The first thing to be mentioned is the popular dominoes. Even world championships in dominoes are played and the Dominican Republic has often been victorious in these events.
The game is played on a domino table with up to 4 players, depending on the variant.
The appearance of the tables ranges from simple to tables that have decorations in the national flags.
In short, if the last domino game was a long time ago, it is a matter of placing pieces in chains - only the same number of pips is allowed on the adjacent stone. The game is played with 28 dominoes. The game is turn-based and whoever wins the most rounds is the winner of a mostly sociable round of dominoes.
If you, the reader, would also like to play your own domino game from Naturreich, you can simply take part in our survey at the end of the article.
Black rag dolls, locally produced
A particularly exciting project is the “Muñecas negras” empowerment project. There, rag dolls with black skin are mostly made by Haitian women. This project was born out of the motivation to counteract the trend that dolls that you normally buy are more of the blonde European type. Since very few children in the Dominican Republic look like this, the identification with a black doll is higher. The project also promotes local craft structures and relationships with Haitian immigrants, who are primarily female.
We at Naturreich know that it makes a big difference in child development which toys are played with.
You can be overwhelmed with suggestions in department stores or search engines, but many of the toys encourage stereotypical images that solidify into adulthood.
Upcycling from natural raw materials
Coconuts actually grow like a dime a dozen and since the coconut shells are a natural waste, it makes sense to use them in upcycling. Coconut shells are easy to work with, for example, on the beach with ordinary carving tools.
Unfortunately, no coconuts grow in the north of the latitude, but what invites you to collect in this country is also popular in the Dominican Republic, namely the collecting of mussels.
The solid material is less easy to work with, but it is very stable and can reveal the most rustic and interesting shapes and the play of colors that the beautiful light in the Dominican Republic, together with the shells, evokes are very pretty to look at.
It is only important to know that tourists are prohibited from collecting mussels on the beach and taking them out of the country.
Also take a look at our Natureich wooden toys here at.