Navajo Dolls in Traditional Dress

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Navajo Dolls represent Navajo Men and Women in traditional dress.

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Navajo dolls are meant to be played with or collected.

 

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Traditional dress for a Navajo woman would start with moccasins, either ankle or knee high.  Alternatively, a Navajo woman might wear short moccasins and wear leggins or leg wraps.

 

 

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 The full, tiered skirt might be cotton or velvet. It is a full length pleated shirt that might have rick rack trim between the sections.

If the skirt is velvet, there is usually a matching top that is cinched around the waist with either a sash or a concha belt. It would be completed with jewelry made of silver, turquoise and shells and perhaps a shawl.

 

ND407-couple-blue-lg-6Necklaces are usually squash blossom style so with the dolls, a facsimile is often sewn right onto the dress. Doll earrings are often beaded loop earrings.

 

Men usually wear traditional muslin pants, a bright colored shirt (often velvet) and a cinched sash like belt or concha belt.  Men also wear necklaces and bracelets.

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Often Navajo men wore a Bandolier Bag (medicine bag) slung diagonally across from shoulder to hip. The bag was usually made of leather and decorated with conchas.

Vintage Navajo Bandolier Bag

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Hair for the dolls is made of mohair, wool or yarn.

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The hands are sometimes made of leather.

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The face is fabric and the facial features are usually painted on.

Navajo dolls might just be standing or they could be involved in an activity from everyday life such as weaving, cooking, or sewing.

Paula