Lacrosse player doll

Beverly Doxtater (Miller), Haudenosaunee, Kanienʼkehá꞉ka (Mohawk) Nation, Turtle Clan

Six Nations of the Grand River, Canada


Cloth, feathers, fiber, leather/hide, silver, wood, yarn, corn husks, synthetic felt, string


The Haudenosaunee people respect what they call the Three Sisters, the sustainers of life. These sisters are Corn, Beans, and Squash. The Corn Spirit, so thrilled at being one of the sustainers of life, asked the Creator what more she could do for her people. The Creator said that a beautiful doll could be formed from her husks. So the Creator set to work forming the doll. When finished, the doll was given a beautiful face and sent it among the children of the Haudenosaunee people to play with, and to make them happy.

The doll went from village to village playing with the children and doing whatever she could for the children. Everywhere she went, everyone would tell her how beautiful she was, so after a while she became vain. The Creator spoke to her and explained that this was not the right kind of behavior, and she agreed not to be this way anymore. The Creator explained that if she continued with this behavior, then he would have to punish her, but he would not tell her how he would punish her. She agreed not to act this way anymore, and things went on as before.

One afternoon she was walking by a creek and glanced into the water. As she admired herself, she couldn’t help thinking how beautiful she was, because indeed, she was beautiful. Worried about her not doing her duties, the Creator sent a giant screech owl out of the sky and it snatched her reflection from the water. When she looked again, she had no face. This was the punishment the Creator put upon her. From that time on, the Haudenosaunee did not put faces on their cornhusk dolls.