Dolls, Poppets and Play Things
Throughout history, dolls, poppets and playthings have been used for variety of reasons.
Tracing my own heritage back to the Appalachian mountains, the rich history of homemade dolls, and the research and study of the uses of these objects around the world, steered my attention to the craftsmanship and creation of this handcrafted age old tradition.
A corn husk doll is a Native American doll made out of the dried leaves or "husk" of a corn cob.
Maize, known in some countries as corn, is a large grain plant domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. Every part of the ear of corn was used. Women braided the husks for rope and twine and coiled them into containers and mats. Shredded husks made good kindling and filling for pillows and mattresses. The corncobs served as bottle stoppers, scrubbing brushes, and fuel for smoking meat. Corn silk made hair for corn husk dolls.
Corn husk dolls have been made by Northeastern Native Americans probably since the beginnings of corn agriculture more than a thousand years ago. Brittle dried cornhusks become soft if soaked in water and produce finished dolls sturdy enough for children's toys. Making corn husk dolls was adopted by early European settlers in the United States of America.
Corn husk doll making is now practiced in the United States as a link to Native American culture and the arts and crafts of the settlers.
In other cultures, (specifically Western) corn dollies are used to celebrate Lammas, the celebration of Harvest.
Corn dollies are magical charms thought to protect the home, livestock, and personal wellness of the maker and their family. They may be a home for the spirit of the crop. The tradition pertains to the idea that the crop of grain has a spirit that loses its home after the final harvest and it is therefore to be invited and housed in the home over the winter before being returned to the earth in spring for the next crop.
Corn Husk Dolls
Our corn husk dolls are handcrafted, made to order. To resemble the chosen.
Corn husk dolls do not have faces, and there are a number of traditional explanations for this.
gallery of available dolls