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Native American Orphans™ (NAO)

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Native American Orphans™ (NAO) are rare collectibles created by Cherokee Artist, Margaret Flanagan.  Since each doll is an original and takes literally hundreds of hours of labor and love to create, there can only be about 12 dolls handcrafted per year.  Each doll’s clothing and moccasins are sewn from deer hide, complete with beadwork and feathers.  These babies are very sturdily constructed; they are weighted for the feel of a living body, and even have “bones” in the fingers.  Although most dolls are created in the approximate size of a 10-month-old child, dolls can also be ordered in sized from newborn to 3 years of age.  Whatever the age or size you choose, Native American Orphans are so real and life-like that they are often mistaken for live children!Quihadefull03


The authentic patterns used in the clothing and footwear are researched to mirror tribal customs, or - if preferred - to match today’s modern pow-wow styles. Beadwork can be ordered on the dress, shirt, moccasins, and on head, leg, and arm bands. Buntings are made from all types of fur, most often fox, rabbit, beaver, coyote, mink, or raccoon.

       

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Native American Orphan dolls are often mistaken for live children!

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“I listened as some of the Cherokee elder women talked about being at the stomp dances when they were very young.  Most of the time, the dances would last all night. The children would play out and find a play to lay down and sleep. But as they got older, they learned that valuable pieces of history were often found in the very early morning. ‘Just at dawn, some of the grandmothers would get up and show us dances that were no longer done - dances that they learned from THEIR grandmothers’ one elder said.  Among the Cherokees, the stomp dances are still held.  The ‘Danced Out Dancer’ series of dolls is my tribute to all the little dancers of EVERY tribe.  As long as there are children, there will be those who become inspired to learn the traditions handed down from generation to generation.”

     - Margaret Flanagan

               “O Ga Na : All Danced Out”
                   photo by Roger Raley

 

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