June 19, 2011

Dolls of Canada's North

Aboriginal Dolls Hop Across the PondDoll-making used to be the way that northern Canadian women taught their daughters how to cut, manipulate and sew hides and furs so as to make durable clothing for themselves and their families. Now the tradition is being showcased internationally as well as practiced in northern communities.

Cambridge, in the U.K., is the latest venue for this traveling exhibition of handmade dolls, “Sewing Our Traditions: Dolls of Canada’s North,” organized by the Yukon Arts Centre in Canada.

“For generations, women in northern communities used dolls to teach their daughters the important skills of cutting and sewing hides and furs,” the Yukon Arts Centre explains on the exhibition’s website. “These dolls record and reflect northern life, fashion and customs. Today, the art of traditional doll making is alive and well, with modern creators continuing to pass knowledge and skills from generation to generation. From miniature, intricate details such as beaded moccasins to locally trapped fur and home-tanned hides, these 30 doll makers have created evocative portraits of their communities and traditions.”
Comment:  For less authentic Native dolls, see American Girl Doll Day and Amazonia Barbie.

Below:  "These dolls portray characters in the Inuit creation story."

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