Object photography

View of the artwork on display in 'Gifts of the Spirit: Works by Nineteenth-Century & Contemporary Native American Artists'; Peabody Essex Museum; November 14, 1996 through May 18, 1997.
View of the artwork on display in 'Gifts of the Spirit: Works by Nineteenth-Century & Contemporary Native American Artists'; Peabody Essex Museum; November 14, 1996 through May 18, 1997.
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Object description

  • Chiricahua Apache artist
  • Doll, 19th century
  • Leather, cloth, glass, cotton
  • Southwestern United States
  • H: 16 3/4 in, W: 8 in, D: 2 1/4 in (H: 42.5 cm, W: 20.3 cm, D: 5.7 cm)
  • Gift of Mrs. Frederic W. Fitts, 1946
  • E25991
  • Used for teaching girls about the rite passage to womanhood
  • Shows proper dress for the ceremony

This doll was used to teach young girls about Na'ii'ees, the Sunrise Ceremony, an important rite of passage for Apache girls. Performed the summer after a girl's first menstrual cycle, the four-day ceremony prepared a girl for her social and spiritual role as a woman.

DESCRIPTION

This doll represents a young woman in the Sunrise Ceremony, marking her passage to womanhood. The doll is decorated in a buckskin dress edged with heavy fringe and metal tin tassels. Thin lines of black, red, blue, white and yellow glass beads decorate the edges of her dress, which extends to the ground and covers her feet. Both ends of her cloth hair braids are tied with buckskin. Her face is sewn with thread. She wears calico bloomers under her dress. The upper panel of her dress is painted yellow, and her sleeves are yellow fabric.

Exhibition History

  • Gifts of the Spirit: Works by Nineteenth-Century & Contemporary Native American Artists, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA.; November 14, 1996 through May 18, 1997
  • Intersections, Native American Art in a New Light, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA.; June 24, 2006 through November 27, 2011