Dakota female doll
This Dakota female doll made by the Bluecloud family from the Upper Sioux Indian Community in Granite Falls, Minnesota. The doll wears a full-length animal hide one-piece dress with pink and purple beads forming two bands on chest and arms. Human hair is used for two braids tied with hide fringe. The doll has beaded facial features (red for mouth, black for eyes and eye brows) and a sculpted nose. The doll wears a choker of porcupine quills and pink and purple beads as well as beaded animal hide moccasins.
This doll is one of many made by the Bluecloud family throughout the first half of the 20th century. The Bluecloud family created dolls such as these for the tourist industry, selling them to souvenir companies who would then sell them at tourist shops throughout the country. Dakota artists began to modify their beadwork for sale to Euro-Americans, beading miniature versions of tipis and human figures with elements that would appeal to Euro-American buyers. Soon after World War I, Dakota people started industries to sell their artwork to tourists, without abandoning traditional methods of beading. Rebecca Bluecloud supported her family in the 1920s and 1930s by creating dolls for sale to tourists.