How to: Make a Cornhusk Doll

Category: Shelter / Difficulty Level: 1
Posted: 2009-10-02 16:09:46
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Cornhusk dolls made by many different cultures that have since the beginning of corn agriculture over 1,000 years ago. These cultures could include African, Native American, Mexican & Latin American, as well as European.

Dried corn husks are soaked in water then rolled, tied or braided to make the body, limbs, clothing, and accessories, and the silk to make hair. These dolls can measure between 4 - 10" tall. Faces may or may not be painted on to the head

Many dolls do not have faces on them. When an Iroquois Mother makes a doll for her child, she tells them the legend of one of the 3 Sisters (Squash, beans, and..) Corn who the Creator made into a very lovely doll with a beautiful face who became very vain due to her beauty. Until one day the Creator had an owl swoop down and snatch her reflection from the surface of the water she was vainly gazing into as punishment for her self-absorbsion.

This story is to remind the child that it is wrong to think they are better then any one else, and they must know that the Creator has given a special gift to everyone.

The dolls were usually dressed in cornhusks, but cloth, buckskin, or other materials could be used to create clothing and other personal equipment. Dolls have been used for eons tho help children practice and prepare for real-life. Personal items or equipment could include: cradle boards, hoes, sewing kits, bows & arrows, canoes and paddles and other warrior or home-making accountraments.

Cornhusk dolls were not only used as toys, but as ceremonious objects to aid in healing or dispelling evil spirits.

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