Three delightful old dolls recently came my way, and this is by far the quirkiest! With the odd proportions, primitive inked features and crude hand stitching hear and there, I suspect that it may be a youth-made piece from the 1940s or ‘50s.
What I like about it is that so many traditional elements are there: the traditional chonga, a bun wrapped with white yarn; the tiered cotton skirt and long-sleeved velvet shirt with beadwork on the yoke and collar; and the fabric moccasins and wrapped leggings — all of which suggest that the doll was not only made by a young person, it was probably made by a young person who was Navajo.
The 14-1/2” doll is made of muslin and firmly stuffed with rags. The clothing is sewn on. The front of the blue velvet shirt has faded to brown but, overall, the doll is in very good condition.