Native American Heritage Month

Today, the last day of November, is the last day of National Native American Heritage Month. Kaya is one of my favorite dolls and I think one of the most important characters in the American Girl collection. I love that American Girl spent five years developing her, working closely with Nez Perce leaders and historians. Everything about Kaya is so unique: her facemold, her collection, the fact that she doesn’t have pajamas (I’ve heard people complain about this, but a Nez Perce girl in the 1760s would not exactly have worn a lace nighty to bed…or anything to bed, for that matter).

Kaya is also unique because she is the only Beforever doll who also has a collection of modern outfits. I think creating modern pow-wow outfits is not only a fabulous way of expanding Kaya’s wardrobe, but a great way to have a doll that not only represents history, but represents culture, too. Kaya beautifully connects now with then. She reminds us that Native Americans have tradition that is rooted in heritage and history, but also are leaders, visionaries, and innovators of today.

For this reason, Kaya is my only historical doll who is allowed to be modern sometimes (but only in her modern pow-wow outfits–no other modern clothes). Otherwise all of my  historical dolls stay true to their time period and character. I know that I am a bit unusual for having such strict rules for my collection, but that is just how I like to play. 🙂

Just like Kaya’s historical deerskin outfits, her modern outfits are accurate and meaningful. They should never be referred to as “costumes” either–they are outfits or regalia (I looked up some etiquette info when making plans to attend a pow-wow a while back–something you should definitely do before you go) . Her jingle dancer outfit and fancy shawl outfits are each worn for particular styles of dance.

I really enjoy taking pictures of Kaya, maybe the most out of any of my dolls. Today, celebrating Native American Heritage Month, I thought I would share with you some of my favorites.

 

 

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20 Comments Add yours

  1. Clara says:

    Oh my goodness, Kaya is so cute. I love the photos!

    -Clara ❤

    Like

    1. Emily says:

      Thanks! Kaya is one of my favorites!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Izzy says:

    Those pictures are absolutely breathtaking! And Kaya is so sweet. I always think she looks shy, thoughtful, loving, and a little proud. I agree that Kaya is one of the most important BeForever dolls-she has such a unique point of view!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Emily says:

      Thank you! I completely agree with your description of her facial expression. I think it captures all of those qualities perfectly!

      Like

  3. Beautiful! I’m so glad that AG has kept her, she’s one of my favorites and I’d love to get her soon! She’s really sweet, and although she doesn’t get many outfits 😦 I still love her collection!
    ~ Light4theLord
    https://dollsnall.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Emily says:

      Thanks! I am glad they still have her also and hope that she never retires.

      Like

  4. jackylina says:

    Seeing those pictures makes me want to head home from work right now and hug my Kaya doll!
    It’s funny, I used to dress my historicals as modern dolls very frequently and have no qualms about it, but lately I’m noticing myself keeping them more and more canon. I don’t think I’ll ever fully keep them canon like you, but I can see where you come from now.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Emily says:

      I hope your Kaya got a giant hug! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. IrishAG says:

    Wow! Your pictures are amazing! 🙂
    ❤ , IrishAG

    Like

    1. Emily says:

      Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Jaclynn says:

    Wow!! These pictures are BEAUTIFUL!! ❤
    ~Jaclynn~

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Emily says:

      Thanks Jaclynn!

      Like

  7. Flo says:

    You have such a nice collection of her outfits! Great photos, and I totally get where you are coming from. If I ever get Melody, I probably will keep her in her era, unlike my other historicals.

    Like

    1. Emily says:

      Thanks! Yes, I would say that Melody is one that might stay best in her era just because her hair does have that 60s look. I have seen some people dress her modern though, and even though it’s not my personal style, she does look pretty cute!

      Like

  8. Jessa says:

    I have the exact same rules for my dolls. One year I let the historical ones dress modern for Halloween. It felt weird. These photos are gorgeous and it’s very eloquent what you said about blending historical and modern. I think it’s also important that Kaya bridges those too because there still ARE Native Americans –and in fact there’s awful stuff still happening to them in North Dakota. I think it’s easy for people to get that Native Americans aren’t just a people of the past, but I’d never considered how Kaya can help represent that until your post. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Emily says:

      Thank you so much for the comment!

      Like

  9. I love Kaya so much! She was the first doll I ever got, almost 8 years ago! ~Julia ❤

    Like

    1. Emily says:

      Cool! She’s a great doll!

      Like

  10. Lexie says:

    I love the pictures!

    Like

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