Native American Technology and Art

Instructions for Cornhusk Dolls

These dolls are based on Penobscot Dolls illustrated by Frank G. Speck in the mid-1900's. You will need the husks from one or two ears of corn for a 6" doll. This should take you about 1 hour to make. Soak cornhusks (that have been thoroughly dried beforehand) for 10 minutes in warm water.

1. Cut cob, remove husks and save 'hair. Dry everyting in the sun for 1-3 days.

2. Soak 10 minutes before using husks. Cut thin ends off.

3. Bundle thin end of 6 leaves around 'hair', slick side of leaves inward. Tie tightly.

4a. Peal leaves around to form head. Hair should sprout up in the middle.

4b. Tie neck area tightly.

5. Braid 3 strips of a leaf into a 6 inch piece for the arms.

6. Braid 2 more lengths in he same way to use later for the 2 legs.

7. Put arms under neck. Insert rolled leaf to fill out and form body. Tie waist area.

8. Insert legs and secure by tying 2 leaves front to back, then trim excess below waist.

9. Wrap and tie one or two strips around top of legs to form hips.

Decide on the clothing to make for the cornhusk doll...

Woman's Clothing for a Cornhusk Doll
Men's Clothing for a Cornhusk Doll

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© 1994 - Tara Prindle
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