Thursday, May 6, 2010

Navajo Dolls

Hubby has traveled a lot to El Paso in the last couple of months. There is a shop in the airport that sells handmade Navajo dolls by local artists. He decided to get something new for my doll collection.

Her tag in the back has the local artist's name and number (it's actually a certificate of authenticity) and then gives a little bit of history behind the Navajo and the women's dress.

Diné, "The People," as the Navajo call themselves, live today on the largest Indian reservation in the United States. Much of the Navajo lifestyle has been passed down from generation to generation unchanged from ancient times.

Many men and women wear the traditional velveteen tops decorated with silver and turquoise. The women's skirts are long full skirts of either velveteen or calico. The Navajo are well-known for their sandpainting, silversmithing, and rug weaving.

He also got me this Navajo Cradleboard.

There is also a card attached to the cradleboard/doll:

Traditionally, Navajo cradleboards carry and protect Navajo babies. The cradleboard is used during the baby's first year - until he or she is ready to walk. The arch across the top, called the rainbow, protects the baby's head. The bands securing the child are commonly called lightning. They comfortably keep the baby in place. Usually the cradleboards are made of cedar or juniper. They are passed down from child to child within families.

Here's a cradleboard link with information and a picture from around 1936. I looked around on the internet because I wondered how they looked with a real baby after Hubby brought this home for me. Also, after my initial thought that the Navajo used the cradleboard to carry the baby on their back, we decided that there really wasn't a way to strap it around the person carrying it. We were apparently very wrong.

Makes what you can buy at Babies 'r Us and places like that look pretty comfy.

I love my new dolls. Other than the one Sparky got me from Africa, it's been years since I've added to my childhood collection.

For more Show and Tell Friday, visit Cindy at My Romantic Home.


Mari said...

Great dolls - that baby is adorable! I think Robert spoils you!

Betsy said...

He's so sweet to bring you gifts! I'm telling The Mister...he always comes home empty handed...well, with an empty stomach and a suitcase full of dirty laundry! LOL!

Sweet Bee Cottage said...

What a sweet hubby you have. Your new doll is so adorable.

Crystal said...

Your dolls are wonderful!! How sweet they come with stories!!!

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