Cornhusk Doll
Cornhusk Dolls
History:
Cornhusk dolls are one of the oldest forms of dolls known in the Americas.  The Iroquois have a legend about the "faceless doll."  The first cornhusk doll was made to be the companion for a little Indian girl.  The doll was so beautiful; it spent all of its days gazing at itself in the clear pond in the woods.  The Creator punished the doll for her vanity and removed her face forever.

It's up to you to decide if your doll will have facial features, although the traditional way is to remain without a face.

Materials Needed:
Cleaned and dry cornhusks (prepare your own or purchase in
                                         ethnic produce section)
Twine or strong string

How To Make It:

1.)Soak the dried cornhusks in warm water for about 30 minutes until they are soft and pliable.
2.)Gather six husks at the large end, holding the tips down.  Tie tightly with twine or string about 1-inch from top.
3.)Cut off about ¼" above the string to even the top edges.
4.)Holding the knot in your hand, turn the husks down over the knot.  (It will look like you're peeling a banana.)  After all the husks are pulled down over the knot, secure tightly with a piece of string to form the head.

Fig. 1 & 2
5.)Form the arms by rolling husks lengthwise and tie each end to form hands.
6.)Fit the arm piece under the neck string between the six layers hanging below the neck.
7.)Tie a string under the arms to secure the arm in place and create a waist for your doll.
Fig. 3
8.)Criss-cross the chest area with two thinner husks, pulling the husks tightly and tying at waist with another piece of string.  This will look like a shirt.  Also, at this point, decide if you're making a girl or boy.
Fig. 4
9.)Boy: Divide the husks hanging below the waist into two legs.  Tie each leg with a string at the knee and another at the ankle.  Do this to both legs.  Allow to dry.
10.)     Girl: A longer skirt may be added by tying cornhusks around the waist pointing up toward the head.  Peel the leaves down over the string to form the skirt.  Allow to dry.
11.)     Decorate as desired with fabric scraps and yarn for hair or leave alone for a tradition look.

Fig. 5
For personal use only.
Posted by The Silver Penny in 2001.