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Xinjiang 'Barbie' dolls show beauty of local people
2018-07-12 source:Xinhua
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Shan Xiumei and her handmade dolls [Photo/ts.cn]

Although not as well-known as American Barbie dolls, Shan Xiumei's handmade dolls are popular in China's Northwest Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

Inspired by Barbie dolls, Shan, a Han woman from Xinjiang, started making the dolls 18 years ago, when the area started to take off as a tourist destination.

"My family was very poor when I was young. There were no toys for children, but my mother made a doll for me. I liked it very much and started to make dolls myself from then," Shan said.

To make her dolls unique, Shan invented the craftsmanship of Xiusu, which uses special techniques including embroidery and sculpture.

Like Barbie dolls, the clothing of Xiusu dolls can be changed. But Shan's dolls are purely handcrafted rather than made from molds, and the facial expression of each doll is unique.

To better simulate human skin, Shan adopts special materials and even real make-up for the dolls. The size of Shan's dolls also vary, from as tiny as a finger nail to as big as a real person.