Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Angelitos Negros

The Dazzling Dames doll club held a holiday social this past Sunday and Angela Ferguson encouraged members to bring a hand-crafted doll ornament for exchange:

Not one that would fill in the space in the back of a tree.  Not one that you would place under a tree holder to keep it from wobbling, No uh huh!  But one that is so creative you would hang it front and center on your own tree and do a "Vana White" each time someone comes to look at your tree...yep...that one!!  Pls have the ornament gift wrapped.

I was more than a little intimidated by the prospect of making a doll ornament for exchange with serious artists like Martha Dudley who brought this Stingy Scrooge to the meeting as one of her show and tell pieces:

Still, I scrounged up a holey sock, cut up some old stockings for stuffing, and then went to work.  Over the summer I had experimented with making doll faces from salt dough.

I painted one to match the sock but it wasn’t until we were rummaging through my wardrobe bins that she told me she was an angel.

Angels were a popular theme at the Dazzling Dames doll ornament exchange.  Miss Joy offered this precious tree topper:

Angela Ferguson created this golden lady:

I received this radiant goddess from Martha Dudley:

Miss Lorraine presented this sweet seraph:

Miss Margaret made this cherubic little boy pin:

She also heeded the Venezuelan poet, Andres Eloy Blanco’s call and crafted this adorable angelita negra:

In the early 1940s, Blanco wrote these lines lamenting the lack of  black angels:

Pintor, si pintas con amor!
Por que, desprecias [mi] color,
Si sabes que en el cielo,
Tambien [nos] quiere Dios?
(Painter, if you paint with love         
Why do you despise my color,
Knowing that God in heaven
Loves us too?

M. Alvarez Maciste adapted the poem and set it to music as the theme song for a 1948 film, "Angelitos Negros" staring Pedro Infante.  In this scene, Infante’s character sings the song to his daughter who was born darker than both her parents:

The child’s mother does not show the same compassion for her but eventually the plot reveals that she herself has African ancestry.

Despite its progressive message, white actors in black face played most of the leading Negro characters.  Still, this film was as a very influential hit and many singers in Latin America and the United States covered its title song.  Here is Roberta Flack’s version from her 1969 album, “First Take.”

May all the heavenly host watch over you this holiday season!

 À Bientôt


  1. Thanks for sharing the movie information and these interesting dark (complexion) angels!

  2. Ms. Dudley's Stingy Scrooge has stingy written all over his face.

    Thanks for sharing the rest of the handmade ornaments including your sock angel, who was able to create her own definition.

    In the Angelitos Negros clip it appears the little actor's hair was "napped" up to match her cosmetically darkened complexion.

    I have a collection of Black angels that I cherish. I have not added to it in a few years and have no immediate plans to increase it. I am always, however, open to those that I receive as gifts from my mother and friends. My mother, has often purchased white angels for me that I swiftly transform into Black angels with the aid of brown paint and acrylic sealer. My darkening technique is much better than that done on the little actor.

    Thank you for the heavenly host watch over wishes. May they watch over you, as well throughout this season and always.


  3. Thanks for sharing everyone's creations. You guys did great. Thanks for the clip, too. Now I am intrigued to watch the movie. Have a wonderful, blessed holiday season! Thanks for a year of great teaching through your blog.

  4. Hello from Spain: all these creations are awesome. I like angels .. Merry Christmas. Keep in touch

  5. Hi ladies,

    Thanks for your comments and compliments. I'll be posting the show and tell dolls next.