Native American Paper Dolls… Dude I can’t find any…

I don’t usually political on this blog, but today I am pretty annoyed.

I grew up surrounded by Native American culture, particularly Tlingit and Haida. When I moved to the Lower 48, I was shocked to discover that people seemed to have completely forgotten that Native American’s still existed in the world. Mainstream culture accepts depictions of Native American’s that it would never accept of Blacks or Hispanics or Asians or Jews, and it only takes a few depressing internet searches to discover this. Team mascots being the worst offenders.

And I’m pretty internet savvy. I have a freaking library degree, after all, but in my search for paper dolls to celebrate Native American Heritage Month, I have come up pretty blank.

I found these Iroquois paper dolls, both a man and a woman. The art is pretty simple, but they would be fun for a small child, I think.

Native Tech’s virtual paper doll brings back memories of coding javascript back in the day, but seriously needs to be updated with something less cranky.

The Alaska State Museum used to have a really cute one they passed out for free depicting several different groups costumes, but I didn’t see an online version of it.

So, I am putting out the call to my internet friends. Help me find attractive, non-stereotypical, free printable paper dolls of Native Americans. Ideally one’s that specify who they are depicting and don’t fall into the “generic buckskins trap”. Please? There have to be more than these.

Edit 11/15/13: I have written further on this topic in my post “Traditional Native American Clothing of the Early 21st Century” By Steven Paul Judd & Native American Paper Dolls.

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15 Responses to Native American Paper Dolls… Dude I can’t find any…

  1. Julie says:

    Sounds like a fun project….! I have trouble thinking up doll themes & this sounds like a good challenge.

  2. Debbie says:

    I conducted a cursory Google.complete search “Indian” paper dolls thinking the results would be plentiful. They were not. I found only two links worthy of sharing.

    This one is pretty generic:

    Northeastern Indian (there are two pages; the dolls on one, the clothing on another)

    Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. It appears printable paper dolls that adequately portray the various nations, tribes, clans, or cultures of Indigenous Americans are non-existent.


  3. Debbie says:* (I had a shortcut text expander program open when I replied; “com” expands to “complete” each time I type com.



  4. Debbie says:

    My initial comment appears to have been zapped!


    • RLC says:

      Yes, a lot of these comments were link heavy, so I had to rescue them from the spam filters. I think I got all of them now. 🙂 Thanks for the lovely links.

  5. Nicole says:

    I’ve been meaning to make a Native American doll myself, but haven’t gotten around to it yet… American Girl has a Nez Perce paper doll to go with the real 18-inch doll, but you have to buy it, of course. My housemate is an officer for our university’s American Indian Council. I’ll see if she has any ideas.

  6. Nicole says:

    Found a Picasa account that has a lot of scanned paper dolls, including most of the American Girl line. Here’s a link to Kaya’s pages:

    You can also purchase the Kaya dolls online, but since the book has been recently retired it’s hard to find a decent set that’s not $25.

    Sorry for the double-post; I hope you don’t mind.

  7. marie claire says:

    Hi Rachel, I’ve just come across these while leafing through a Russian site.
    I don’t know how accurate the rendition is but there seems to be at least an attempt to go beyond “generic buckskin” characterization:

  8. Kat says:

    Not sure this counts as it’s a scanned pic:
    but you’re right there aren’t many, anyway good luck.

  9. Heidi says:

    One from me is missing…

  10. marie claire says:

    It appears my remaining links got lost. I’ll try to send them again, hoping not to cause any trouble.
    All of these are pictures from sold albums, I am afraid. Still they might be of interest. The funny thing is that I was not even looking for native american dolls, just following an old bookmark to another Russian paperdoll site

  11. Pat says:

    Hola, te felicito por tu site tan bello y maravilloso!!! amo tus diseños, me encantaría que pudieras diseñar trajes de nativos americanos, yo soy de Argentina, bailo danzas folklóricas y me gustaría que pudieras hacer diseños de trajes folklóricos también, si te interesa te envío los trajes folklóricos argentinos y puedo conseguir latinoamericanos también, creo que serían muy interesantes para enseñar a los niños que toman clases de danzas.
    Quedo a tu disposición
    Pat Mac Dougall

    • RLC says:

      Gracias. No sé por qué los trajes de baile argentinos parecen. ¿Me pueden enviar algunos enlaces para los trajes de baile?

  12. Merlin Spillers says:

    If you go into Pinterest and type in the name Synove Andreassen her blog should come up. Go into her paper dolls #28 and scroll down. There are 14 pages that a contemporary paper doll artist made including outfits from various tribes.

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