SOME INDIAN DOLLS

BY OLIVE THORNE MILLER
AMONG the wild Indians of our country is surely the last place one would look for toys, and travelers have said they had none; but a closer look brings some to light. On the desk before me sit two dear creatures, just arrived from Dakota Territory. They were made by some loving mother of the Gros Ventre tribe of Indians. But the unfortunate little redskin girl for whom they were intended never received them after all, for they were bought by a white man, and sent to New York to sit for their picture for you.

They are a queer-looking pair, dressed in the most elegant Gros Ventre style. They are eighteen inches tall, made of cloth, with their noses sewed on, and their faces well colored; not only made red, like the skin, but with painted features. The Indian doll has a gentle expression, with mild eyes, but the squaw has a wild look, as though she were very much scared to find herself in a white man's tepee. Both have long hair in a braid over each ear, but the brave has also a quantity hanging down his back, and a crest standing up on top—perhaps as "scalp-lock."

DOLLS FROM DAKOTA TERRITORY DOLLS FROM DAKOTA TERRITORY

The dress of the lady resembles, in style and material, a bathing-suit. It is of blue flannel, trimmed with red braid, a long blouse and leggings of the same. She has also moccasins, and a string of blue beads around her neck, besides little dots of beads all over her waist. The suit of the warrior is similar in style, but the blouse is of unbleached muslin, daubed with streaks of red paint, and trimmed with braid, also red. Across his breast he wears an elaborate ornament of white beads, gorgeous to behold.

Beside these Gros Ventre dolls stand another pair, from a Canada tribe; the squaw dragging a six-inch-long toboggan loaded with tent and poles, while the warrior carries his snow-shoes. She is dressed in red and black flannel, with calico blouse and cloth hood; tin bracelets are on her arms, and her breast bears an ornament like a dinner-plate, also of tin. Her lord and master wears a dandyish suit of white canton-flannel, fuzzy side out, a calico shirt, red necktie, and likewise a hood and tin dinner-plate. They are made of wood, with joints at hip and shoulder, and the faces are carved and painted. Wild dolls are curious and interesting. Let me tell you of a few others I have seen.

The little Moquis girls have wooden dolls of different sizes and degrees. The best have arms and legs, are dressed in one garment of coarse cotton, and instead of hair have feathers sticking out of their heads, like the ends of a feather duster.

A lower grade of Moquis doll has no limbs, but is gaily painted in stripes, and wears beads as big as its fist would be, if it had one. This looks as you would with a string of oranges around your neck. The poorest of all, which has evidently been loved by some poor little Indian girl, has in place of a head a sprig of evergreen. How did the white man get hold of a treasure like this? Is the little owner grown up? Is she laid to sleep under the daisies? Or was this doll left behind in a hurried flight of the Moquis village before an enemy?

It isn't an Edison doll; it can't talk,—so we shall never know.