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The Nunalleq Stick Dolls

November 23, 2017

Rick has been busy in the lab photographing artefacts before they are packed for their journey across the Atlantic.

This is a collection of simply made ‘stick dolls’ from the Nunalleq collection. They seem to be unique to Nunalleq, as they don’t appear in ethnographic or archaeological collections from the Yup’ik area,  unlike the more realistic human images and dolls shown in the previous post, which are widespread.

Most stick dolls were made by carving one or more faces onto flat pieces of worked wood. They used broken kayak ribs, slats from sled frames or fish trap parts. About half of the stick dolls have faces on both sides. Sometimes both faces are the same, others have a happy and a sad face on opposite sides or opposing ends. A few have four or even five different faces, each with a different expression.


4 Comments leave one →
  1. Marjorie permalink
    November 23, 2017 22:25

    Since today is Thanksgiving here, I would like to let everyone involved in the project know how grateful I am to be shown things made by the people who came before us. I hope we can leave good things too, when our time comes to go.

  2. Marilyn F. permalink
    November 27, 2017 14:41

    These are precious. I wonder if they also dressed the dolls in clothing?

    • November 27, 2017 19:20

      In ethnographic records there are dolls with clothing. We have not found any remains of clothing associated with the Nunalleq dolls, with the exception of a very tiny ‘baby doll’ that is wrapped in a sort of blanket.

      • Marilyn F. permalink
        December 1, 2017 18:50

        Thank you for your reply. Perhaps the variety of facial expressions was enough for play.

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