Thursday, May 16

That's the spirit!

Momma has collected ethnic dolls all her life and has many examples of Navajo dolls ... most of whom are in storage!

Tsk, tsk.

Specifically, the soft bodies dolls representing male and female Navajos in their native dress, NOT kachinas.

(Kachinas are traditionally Hopi spirits, not Navajo, and are represented in carved figures similar to Christian icons and statues. Kachinas are for education, not play. Some Navajo make kachinas for sale but it is not part of their culture. Momma does have some kachinas, but does not count them as part of her doll collection.)

According to Wikipedia, Navajo dolls wear a style of clothing that Navajo women copied from east coast American society in the 1860s. Women of that era wore full dresses made out of satin. President Lincoln's wife and friends wore full dresses made of satin. Navajo women copied the patterns but substituted velvet for the satin and made buttons out of nickels and dimes. These stylish skirts are still fashionable today, for Navajos and non-Navajos alike.

Momma found this awesome Smithsonian Institute PDF resource about five different Native American dolls which has photos and descriptions.

I hope you enjoy looking at it!

1 comment:

  1. What a great link. I enjoyed reading about the doll artists. Thank you.