Crafting a Legend
Laurel Parker (Turtle Clan) has long made no face dolls. The accomplished artists’ creations are so detailed and intricate that the National Museum of the American Indian in New York City has her dolls on display.
This year Laurel is leading two classes of Elders in the creation of the no face doll. The six-week sessions give Oneida Nation Elders and other American Indian participants the chance to bring the doll to life after following a simple pattern.
During the sessions held Monday morning and Thursday afternoon, participants work on creating their own masterpiece with the help of Laurel.
The Legend of the No Face Doll reminds people never to think that they are better than anyone else or a great punishment will fall upon them.
To learn more about the legend click on the following: No Face Doll
As well as making no face dolls, Laurel incorporates a lot of Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) beadwork into her pieces, and many of her pieces are transformed for today’s 11-inch dolls. Laurel makes elegant doll regalia complete with beading details. Dresses for these tiny dolls require four days of crocheting time, and the beadwork on the dresses and moccasins can take up to two weeks to complete.
The Oneidas regarded beadworking as a gift from the Creator. It teaches patience and humility and such a gift should be used and shared. Often beadwork was carried on by women of different generations who talked, as they worked, of their community and its history. In such a setting, these beaded creations took on deep personal meanings.
Laurel also places beadwork into her cross-stitch works, each with an American Indian motif.
“Beadwork is part of you, part of your life; you put part of yourself into it,” said Laurel. “And those beaders back 100 years ago or so, they are still here through their work.”
For more on beadwork, visit:
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