Carlos Derramadero Vega (Deceased 2019), Celaya, Guanajuato

Carlos Derramadero Vega (Deceased 2019), Celaya, Guanajuato

Carlos Derramadero Vega nació en 1934 en Apaseo el Grande, que se encuentra al oeste de Celaya, Guanajuato más bien conocido por las tradicionales muñecas de cartón (conocidos como Lupitas) que se hacen allí. Carlos ahora vive y trabaja en Celaya, donde ejerce su oficio de hacer muñecas y objetos juguetones de papel maché.

Lupita dolls, also known as cartonería dolls, are toys made of a very hard type of cardboard that originated about 200 years ago in central Mexico. They were originally created as a substitute for the much more expensive porcelain dolls and maintained their popularity until the second decade of the 20th century. Today the dolls are made as collector's items only in certain artisan workshops in the city of Celaya.

La Lupita was made mainly by the poor, along with other types of dolls made of straw, wood and rags. The paper mache technique is properly called cartoneria, making a very hard surface when dry. This technique has been used to make a number of crafts to this day, most notably to make alebrijes and skeleton figures for the Day of the Dead. The dolls are usually created with the help of molds, one for the head and torso and others for the arms and legs, with strips of paper glued in thick layers. When the five body pieces are dry, holes are made in them in order to connect the arms and legs. The two arms are connected to the body with the single wire extending from one upper part of one arm, across the torso, then to the other upper part of the other arm, with the knots visible on the upper arms. The legs are attached in a similar manner. This allows the arms and legs to move from the shoulders and hips.

A number of myths surround the wrists. One is that if a wife felt her husband was cheating on her, she would buy one of these dolls and write the name of her supposed lover, letting her husband know that she already knew. Another story says that the dolls were used in the past to advertise "casas de citas" in Mexico City. Each doll represented a prostitute. The dolls were displayed in the windows indicating which of the women were available.

Since the second half of the 20th century the dolls have lost their popularity. The dolls are no longer manufactured in Mexico City and are only available from certain artisans in Celaya. Since the 1990s, efforts have been made by the government to revive this type of craftsmanship.

Carlos learned his craft from his grandmother three generations ago. He has passed on his knowledge to his children who work with him throughout the laborious process. His designs are his alone and he personally paints the Lupita dolls. He has an exclusive line of Lupitas that are adorned with jewels and other ornaments.


Many other pieces are created by Carlos and his children - skeletons, masks, animals, etc.

Carlos' works were shown in Italy in 2010, Portugal in 2011, Japan in 2012 and France in 2013. In 2013, he also participated in a "Mi Muñeca" project in Guadalajara, Jalisco where artists painted and decorated dolls all the same size and then exhibited them in a gallery show. In this same show, they included dolls painted by artists from Lake Chapala, Jalisco that were on display at the Chapala City Hall on March 7, 2014.

Av. Hidalgo 660 or Manuel Doblado 405

Zona Centro

Celaya, Guanajuato

461 215 1098, 461 128 0844 celular