Native American doll – Dakota

  • Category: DOLLS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
  • Sub Category: Paper Dolls
  • Published Date: Sept. 12, 2022, 3:15 p.m.

Megadolls paper doll Dakota comes from the United States of America. She is a Native American – a population of between 1 and 2 percent of the North American population.

 

About North America and Native Americans.

North America is the 3rd largest continent, with nearly 23 countries and nine dependencies. It includes the over 590 million people living in North America. It is located in the Western and Northern Hemispheres.  It is met by the Pacific Ocean on the west, while the Atlantic Ocean lies to the east. The most common languages spoken in North America are English, French, and Spanish.

 

Although Columbus is credited with finding America, people already lived in North America before the Europeans arrived. The Paleo-Indians were the first people to inhabit the continent between 25,000 and 12,000 years ago. Over time, they branched into numerous communities and cultures across North America. Today these groups of people are known as Native Americans in the United States - a country in North America.

 


The Native Americans were first called Indians because when people like Columbus arrived in North America, they thought they had arrived in the East Indies. He ended up calling the local people he encountered Indians. Native Americans are not the same as Indian people who come from India, like Megadolls paper doll Krishna. Still, they may be distant relatives. Some historians believe the first Native Americans traveled from Asia to North America over a land bridge long ago.

Native Americans like Dakota usually have straight black hair, dark eyes, and skin color ranging from yellow to reddish-brown.

 

Although Native Americans lived in America long before the European settlers arrived, they were not recognized as American citizens. This population was only granted citizenship in 1924. Still, there are many Native American nations within the United States. These nations live on reservation land that was allocated to them.

 

For many years Native Americans were oppressed and encouraged to become more 'civilized.' They were urged to give up their culture and traditions to fit in with mainstream American communities. Since then, efforts have been made to make up for the injustices against Native Americans. But there is still a lot of healing to be done while many Native Americans like Dakota live in poverty and poor conditions with little support.

 

Native American traditions and beliefs.

Native Americans do not have a distinct religion. In fact, no Native American language has a word that translates into the English word "religion." Instead, they have something called "lifeways." You see, Native Americans don't see religion as something separate from other areas of their lives like art, law, economy, medicine, or the landscape around them. Their beliefs, rituals, and practices are an integrated part of who they are and how they interact with the earth and other people.

 

Each Native American tribe or nation has its unique lifeways. Still, there are some lifeways observed by most Native Americans.
Mother Earth is sacred according to Native American beliefs. They cultivate an intimate and close relationship with the earth and all creatures on it. Native Americans work towards living well and providing for themselves and their families through connecting with the ground. They honor and take care of the nature around them, and in return, they harvest the food provided by the earth.

 

Smudging is a ritual performed by individuals of Native American tribes. A smudge is made from dried herbs like sage, or sometimes a bundle is made by tying a few sticks of dried herbs together. During a smudging ritual, the herbs are placed in a smudge bowl, lit, and left to smolder while releasing aromatic smoke. 

 

Native Americans offer blessings through smudging and spiritually purifying a place, people, or gathering. This is especially practiced before healing ceremonies. A healing ceremony helps people return to themselves; it encourages and cultivates harmony within a person, their tribe, and their surroundings.
 

Dreams are significant to Native Americans like Dakota. Native Americans make dream catchers from willow branches with a web of string or rope knotted and woven into the center. They are often hung-over cradles. The net is believed to catch any bad dreams while the feathers suspended from the dream catcher deliver good dreams.

 

Native American Festivals.

Native Americans also believe that stories, music, and dancing can bring about transformation. Stories are handed down from generation to generation. Social gatherings and festivals often involve storytelling, singing, and dancing. There is usually plenty of delicious food to feast on, and unique and beautiful arts or crafts on display or for sale.

 

In the past Native Americans held Pow wows (also spelled powwow) to celebrate success in hunting or battle. Today Pow wows are a way for Native Americans to come together to celebrate their culture and reconnect with their ancestors, their family, and the earth. During pow wows, people sing, dance, and play music on drums. A pow wow can last anywhere between one and four days.

 

Drum circles are important ceremonies for Native Americans like Dakota. These drumming ceremonies are held regularly. The beating of the drum symbolizes Mother Earth's heartbeat. The drumbeat is believed to bring people together and deepen the link between a person's body, mind, and spirit. Usually, men play out rhythms on the drums while women join in by singing.

 

Native American clothing.

Native Americans live in close harmony with nature. This is reflected in their traditional clothing. When they hunt and kill an animal, they use every part of the animal. Skin and fur were used for clothing, teeth and bones were used for jewelry and tools, and feathers were used to create impressive headdresses. Some Native American tribes wear clothing made from cloth that they make from certain plant materials. Iconic beadwork and colorful embroidery are often seen on Native American clothing.

 

Native Americans also have a particular item of clothing, an accessory, that they don't wear. This important item is a belt called a Wampum. A Wampum used to be made with purple and white clamshells. Later they were fabricated using beads brought to North America by European settlers. The Native Americans don't wear Wampums; instead, this accessory represents different events, agreements, and unions between other tribes or nations.

 

The elaborate eagle-feather headdresses that may come to mind when you think of Native Americans can only be worn by a warrior who has done something courageous during battle.

 

Many Native Americans wear American or Canadian clothes like jeans, dresses, and shirts. They usually keep their traditional wear (referred to as regalia) for special occasions like formal events, pow wows, and other ceremonies.

 

Here are more interesting facts about North America that you should know:

·         The Constitution of the United States is based on the Native American Iroquois Constitution, also called The Great Law of Peace.

·         Many Native American languages have become extinct. That means no one knows how to speak these languages anymore. But, more and more Native Americans like Dakota are embracing their Native languages, culture, and traditions. This not only reclaims their identity and power but preserves these practices for future generations.

·         About half the names of U.S states come from Native American words. These states include Arizona, Kentucky, Missouri, and Connecticut.

·         Many other English words were inspired by Native American words. These words include:

o   Chili.

o   Chocolate (yum!).

o   Cayote.

o   Guacamole.

o   Shack.

o   Tomato.

o   Bayou.

o   Cannibal.

o   Poncho.

o   Potato.

o   Barbecue.

·         Utah is named after the Utes tribe, who lived on the edge of the Great Basin and the Plains. Similarly, Oklahoma was named after the Choctaw Okla Homma ("red people'').

·         Native Americans believe that eagle feathers hold spiritual power. These feathers are cherished and often used as decorations for special clothing or accessories.

·         Many Native Americans have totem animals. A totem animal is an animal that is special to a person, family, or tribe. They often bring important lessons and guidance to those who relate to them. These animals are usually associated with a history and meaning.                                                          

·         Pocahontas from the Disney movies was based on a Native American woman called Amonute. Her marriage to John Rolfe was the first recorded marriage between two people from different races in the United States.

Where Dakota came from is very rich in culture and tradition. Dakota would love to play with your other Megadolls to share more about her Native American unique "lifeways" and tell them a story or two!

You can order your Dakota Megadolls in our online shop. Print and decorate outfits for Dakota from our Create section, or get ready-made full-color outfits for Dakota here.

 

With Megadolls, may we all inspire, encourage kindness, experience creativity, and promote meaningful play with awareness and compassion for others.

 

 

 

References:

Native American Rituals and Ceremonies – Legends of America

Native American - The Great Basin | Britannica

Native Americans' Most Important Traditions and Beliefs | Reader's Digest (rd.com)

Native American Traditions | The Pluralism Project

Millennia of Religious Diversity | The Pluralism Project

Religion as a Way of Life | The Pluralism Project

Struggle and Survival: Native Ways of Life Today | The Pluralism Project

7 Incredible Traditions of the Native American | Age of Awareness (medium.com)

Native American Cultures - Facts, Regions & Tribes - HISTORY

Traditional clothing of Native American Indians - Nationalclothing.org

Native American Cultures and Clothing: Native American Is Not a Costume | Helpful Handout Educator Resource (si.edu)

Native American Clothing: Dance regalia, buckskin dresses, and other traditional Indian clothes (native-languages.org)

powwow | Native American celebration | Britannica

Native American Festivals 2019-2020 Calendar | Everfest

Native American Features: Physical Features Of Native Americans - Red Lasso

Native American Totem Animals & Their Meanings – Legends of America

Native American Relationships to Animals | Helpful Handout Educator Resource (si.edu)

94 Interesting Native American Facts | Fact Retriever

Congress Granted Citizenship to All Native Americans Born in the U.S. (americaslibrary.gov)

The Myths and Legends Behind Dream Catchers (verlo.com)

Dream Catcher | History, Origin, Meaning & Indian Symbolism - (powwows.com)

 

 

 

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