Saturday, June 1, 2013

Good Spirits...

I just received an order for a very special doll. A little girl with a Native American background needs a birthday doll. I am so excited to make one for her. It's been years since I made a Native American doll. Why?

I got very disenchanted because I received a not so nice note via EBay a couple of years ago. I had listed a sweet doll on EBay with the title "Native American Doll". I stated clearly in my listing that I was not Native American and that the title was just descriptive. The doll was simply a product of my imagination and my interpretation of Native American culture.  The doll I had listed on EBay had tan skin, black hair, and a super cute dress with petroglyphs on it. She also came with a tiny baby and a cradle board that could be strapped onto her back. Unfortunately I don't  have pictures of this beautiful doll any more. Must have lost that file...

Warrior doll


The person who wrote to me said some very unkind things to me. She asked me to take down my listing because it was insulting to her as a Native American. She accused me of steeling from tribal people by creating and selling such a doll. She also told me that it was illegal to list a doll calling it Native American. I don't know how, but somehow she got the idea that I was pretending to be Native American. What?

Now I wish I had never responded to her email. There was simply no reasoning with this person. After a couple of emails, it became clear to me, that she had made it her life's work to hunt down people over the Internet and harass them. She was convinced that I was wrong and somehow hurting Native American people.

warrior doll with her baby


The whole situation left a very bitter taste in my mouth. I never listed such a doll on EBay again. I guess in the end - I let that person win.

I only made one other doll like it, when a mother asked me to make a brave warrior girl for her daughter. The daughter was scared of going to bed. Then the mom read her a book about a brave Indian girl. The Mom wanted a doll to resemble the character in the story. There was a happy ending to this story. The little girl who received the doll was able to sleep with the help of the friend I made for her.

Now I am ready to make another doll in that spirit. I am having fun researching dress styles of the Crow people. I received an amazing photo of the little girl's great grandmother in her traditional Crow dress.

How would you have dealt with such a letter?

4 comments:

woolies said...

You were attacked, and so felt the need to defend yourself. The problem - you did nothing wrong! What if you made an Asian or African American or Guatemalan doll? I think it is wonderful to honor different cultures all around the world. I love your Warrior doll, and just might be needing one soon. Rock On Ulla! Ignore the haters!!!

germandolls said...

Thanks, Sara! You are a good friend! Thanks for the kind words.

Aimee B said...

I agree! I don't think that you did anything wrong. I think that some people just love to hate. They are so full of ugliness that they strike out at anyone. I don't understand people that thrive on such drama. I look forward to seeing your new doll!

germandolls said...

I was thinking the same thing, Aimee. I have another friend on my NK team who received a similar letter about a Native American headdress she made. She was told off, too...