The Beauty of Autumn – Lakota No Face Doll by Diane Tells His Name

How perfect to feature this beautiful lady at this time of year during the gorgeous fall.

The Beauty of Autumn – Lakota No Face Doll
by Diane Tells His Name

The No Face Doll

The No Face doll has its origin in the corn-growing Northeastern tribes as the dolls were traditionally made of cornhusks, with darkened corn silk for the hair.

As legend has it, Corn Spirit, sustainer of life, asked the Creator for more ways to help her people. The Creator formed dolls from her husks, giving the dolls a beautiful face. When the children of the Iroquois pass the dolls from village to village and from child to child, her beauty was proclaimed so often that the corn husk doll became very vain. The Creator disapproved of such behavior and so told the doll that if she was going to continue being part of the culture, she would need to develop humility.

The doll agreed but couldn’t help but admire her own reflection in a creek. The all-seeing Creator, sent a giant screech owl down from the sky to snatch the doll’s reflection from the water. She could no longer see her face or bask in her superior beauty.

So when a Northeast Native American mother gives a doll to her child, it is usually a doll with no face and the mother tells the child the legend of the Corn-Husk doll. Native Americans want their children to value the unique gifts that the Creator has given to each of them, but not to view themselves as superior to another, or to overemphasize physical appearance at the expense of spiritual and community values.

2 thoughts on “The Beauty of Autumn – Lakota No Face Doll by Diane Tells His Name

  1. I collect dolls. They’ve been so important to me since childhood.

    I have also seen North African dolls made without faces – in what looked like Tuareg dress to me. To circumvent the belief in Islam that one should not portray a human likeness. Though some interpret that as meaning a Muslim should not make a likeness to pray to/worship; vs being against dolls altogether. (And as proof there is now a very cool Arab 12″ type plastic fashion doll who has a black Abaya to cover her contemporary fashions!). Apparently the N.African (Tuareg?) dolls without faces are some sort of compromise between the two interpretations.

    Also the Amish traditionally made/make dolls without faces. I’m not sure if that is for the vanity reason as described in this post; or the biblical admonition (as in Islam) not to make ‘graven images’ (likenesses of humans).

    Ultimately I am interested in all the threads that run through various cultures. Thanks for showing these dolls! 🌞

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