Native American Dolls

Just as modern day little girls play with dolls, so too did Native Americans. These dolls were often created out of items the mother readily had on hand because they were the ones creating the dolls. Cornhusks, pine needles and other types of all natural fibers were highly popular. Mothers knew that the dolls would get lost or damaged, which led them to using products without a lot of meaning or expense.

Dolls used by young girls were still highly decorated according to the unspoken rules of the tribe. They dresses wore elegant dresses with carefully made beadwork and intricate embroidery. The doll aged in the same way the child did, becoming broken and dirty over time. The mothers used this as a way to measure their own daughter's growing and transition into womanhood.

Informative resources on Native American dolls include:

Dolls created by the Native American people also had a spiritual significance and connection to the tribe at large. The dolls were dressed in traditional garb and used to tell a story to young girls. It was the way they learned about the heritage and history of their people. Modern day Native American artists still use this same process today. Their dolls are meant to show the work of their tribe and the history of their people by using clothing similar to those worn by the actual tribes. The dolls also contain spiritual elements such as beadwork that mimics the ancient symbols for the Great Spirit or embroidery that contains hidden symbols for the animals revered by these people.

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