Academic journal article The Canadian Journal of Native Studies

Small Spirits: Native American Dolls

Academic journal article The Canadian Journal of Native Studies

Small Spirits: Native American Dolls

Article excerpt

Lenz, Mary Jane, Small Spirits: Native American Dolls, 2004. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. ISBN 0-259-98363-9.

Small Spirits is a wonderful book. Space here limits me to a few brief observations. Pretty Beads' expression, a Crow girl, pictured with her father, sitting on a horse, carrying her doll in a cradleboard, says it all (she is found on both the inside front and back covers). There are so many rich illustrations; one such doll in toy kayak, outfitted with miniature hunting equipment (on page 52), especially resonates to me. I own such a doll from Pangnirtung in the Arctic. I have been collecting dolls for decades from around the world, many Indigenous. The proud owners are my daughters, and I invited them to write a few lines from their read. They are the doll experts.

Lindsey (23) wrote: Overall, this is a highly entertaining and educational book. It allowed the reader to gain a better knowledge and understanding of the multitude of North American Native dolls, as well as of their cultural importance. The wide array of photographs and images were outstanding, and really allowed the reader to see the great diversity of Native dolls that did, or to still, exist. …

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