Saturday, February 24Not Your Ordinary English-Tagalog Dictionary

What is Doll in Tagalog? History, Kinds, and Filipina Barbie Dolls

The doll in Tagalog is called “manika” or “maynika”, a common toy for young girls all over the world. When it comes to baby names, Manika was derived from a Sanskrit origin, meaning “precious jewels.” As a toy, dolls are a small model of humans and the most popular doll is Barbie. But in case you don’t know, there are also Filipina Barbie dolls. 

Doll in tagalog
Filipina Barbie dolls – Mutya and Filipina doctor

The origin of dolls dolls can be traced back to as early as 2000 BC. This is after archaeologists found wooden paddle dolls in Ancient Egyptian tombs and burial grounds. There was also evidence found that dolls made from clay, ivory, and wood existed in ancient Rome. In ancient Japan, the earliest known dolls are Daruma, Hina, and Kokeshi dolls. 

Aside from being girl’s toys, there are cultures where dolls are also used as spiritual or religious artifacts. Meanwhile, Voodoo dolls are known to be effigies for magical powers by inserting pins on them. Nonetheless, this practice was never related to the Voodoo religion as denounced by High Priests of Louisiana Voodoo (New Orleans Voodoo). 

Wooden dolls in the 16th century were dressed in miniature clothes. In 1558, Duke Albrecht V of Bavaria asked craftsmen to build a miniature replica of his house. Possibly a gift for her daughter, the work of art is the first dollhouse ever made. This started a tradition of rich people, but the doll houses were only for display, and not for playing. 

The idea of making talking dolls came from Thomas Edison, shortly after he invented the phonograph in 1877. Johann Nepomuk Maelzel.of France was the first to file a patent for talking dolls, which can speak Mama and Papa. However, the existing patent for talking and singing dolls was awarded to William A. Harwood of Brooklyn, New York, in 1877. 

Meanwhile, the first Barbie doll was officially launched on March 9, 1959. The iconic doll was created by Ruth Handler, who was inspired by watching her daughter playing with paper dolls of adult women. Ruth and her husband, Elliot, founded the toy company Mattel in 1945. Since the release of Barbie, there have been more than 600 versions. 

The original design of the Barbie doll was based on a German doll named Lilli, and Barbie was named after their daughter, Barbara. Following its worldwide success, Mattel released Ken Carson in 1961. The male, three-dimensional doll was introduced as Barbie’s official boyfriend and was named after Kenneth, the couple’s son. 

In the Philippines, young girls are also known to love playing with dolls, regardless of their status in society. But for those who can afford them, Barbie dolls are at the top of their list. And because Filipinos are also huge fans of beauty contests and fashion, Filipino-American designer Carlyle Nuera created a Filipina Barbie doll – Mutya Barbie in 2015. 

In 2021, Mattel released another Filipina Barbie doll, this time to represent the Asian American community. Dr. Audrey Sue Cruz, who is an Internal Medicine physician, Assistant Professor of Medicine, a wellness blogger, and an electrical engineer, is the first Filipina model of Barbie dolls. She also voiced her stand against Asian hate crimes in the US.

Use manika in a sentence. 


Iniingatan ko talaga ang manikang ito. Regalo sa akin ito ng nanay ko nung kaarawan ko nung anim na taong gulang ako. 


I’m really taking good care of this doll. My mother gave it to me as a birthday gift when I turned six.

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