Street Dummies: Getting to Know the Creepy Mannequins of Lima

On the streets of Lima, they’re impossible to avoid: Lifeless faces that peer out at unsuspecting passersby everywhere from the bustling clothing markets of Central Lima to the artsy boutiques of Barranco, their unsettling grimaces and misshapen bodies frightening children and leaving adults with a lingering sense of unease.

They’re the mannequins of Lima, and though they run the gamut from youth in revolt rebels to businessmen, they all have one thing in common: They’re incredibly creepy. It seems no clothing shop in this town is complete without its own collection of just-life-like-enough-to-be-extremely-off-putting mannequins.

So before you come to Lima, read on to meet the cast of characters that you’re likely to see on any given side street. When you’re dealing with figures this terrifying, it’s best to come prepared….

Mad Men

Common in the upscale tailor shops of Miraflores, these fellas form the upper crust of the Lima mannequin establishment. With their slicked hair, pressed suits, and winning smiles, they could almost be in an award-winning AMC series, if award-winning AMC series featured men without pigmentation. How about Crash Test Execudummies? I’ve got that copyrighted, AMC.

Punk Rocker

Think Punk Rocker’s blank stare, clenched fists and jutted-out tongue are disturbing? That’s just what he wants you to think. It’s all part of his plan to freak out the squares and fight the machine, man. Me, I’m just put off that somewhere in the world there’s a factory turning out mannequins with their tongues sticking out.

Bald and Dangerous

There’s a strange trend in Lima mannequinery. A bunch of effort is expended on making these models look presentable — makeup is applied, trendy outfits are donned — but then the hair is left missing. Bald mannequins are nothing new, but bald mannequins with regular features everywhere else are just creepy.

Mad Max

The year: 2050. Nuclear winter has descended on the city. Radioactive mutants roam the the streets in search of blood and the remaining survivors cower in fallout shelters. Luckily, Mad Max is here to save us all. Don’t be frightened, kids. He’s one of the good guys.

Now that you’ve met the crew, you’ll be able to greet your new mannequin friends by name the next time you’re in Lima. Just don’t be offended when they meet you with a blank stare. That’s just sort of what they do.

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