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Home School Life Journal ........... painting by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

North Eastern Indian Toys and Games: Cornhusk Dolls

Making corn husk dolls has been on my list of things to do with the boys for a long time. I had made them with Katie when she was little, but I hadn't made them with the boys yet.
Many Indians made them to resemble their own tribes. The Iroquois and the Seneca have legends centered around the corn husk doll.

Gather a half-dozen or so corn husks. Some make them while they are still green. They are easy to bend then, but they have a tendency to mold as they dry out. If you use fully dry husks, they are difficult to bend. Some people soak them in water about an hour before making the dolls. We dried our husks out a few days and they were partially dry but were still limber enough to bend.

Arrange your husks so the thinner ends are at the top. Tie your husk ends together a couple of inches down from the top. We used string. You could also use raffia, some thin strips of the husk, some leather thong or yarn. Trim off the ends so that it is even at the top. Take half of the corn husks and fold them over where you have tied to cover the string and make a nice surface for the face. Tie a piece of string at the throat.

Now take a couple thin pieces of corn husk and roll them to form the arms. Tie at both ends and trim neatly at both ends. Lift half of the bottom of the body corn husks and slip the arms up in place.

Tie a string at the waist under the arms.

If you are making a girl, all you have to do is trim the bottom to make her skirt even. If you are making a boy, divide the bottom husks into the two legs by cutting them in the center. Part them and tie at the ends to form legs. Trim the bottoms of the legs evenly.

We found the easiest way to make hair was to hot glue gun some corn silk on the head. This of course is not as authentic as tying it on or the like, but is the easiest.
Resources:
Other tutorials on how to make a corn husk doll can be found here: (If you have one, leave your link in the comments.) Everyone seems to make them a little differently.


6 comments:

  1. I SOOOO want to eat corn on the cob, but with both boys losing teeth I can't do it because they can't eat it......

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  2. What fun, I used to make these little dolls when my kids were little. Looks like a great project! ~April

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  3. I sometimes wonder if there is any natural material that has not been made into a doll in some time or place! These are wonderful :)

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  4. So cool, cheers Marie

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  5. Fantastic dolls.

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  6. Oh these turned out great! Glad you linked up to the Native American Heritage month blog hop :)

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