Friday, February 20, 2015

Deer Woman!

I finally finished my Deer Woman doll yesterday! I think she is so cute ^_^ Before I share pictures of her, though, I'd like to tell you about the inspiration behind her...

Deer Woman is a spirit being in Native American folklore - there are stories about her from many different tribes and areas, but many of them seem to come from the Eastern Woodlands and Central Plains tribes. She is said to appear sometimes as a deer, sometimes as half-woman half-deer, sometimes as an old woman. Other times, she appears as a beautiful young woman, with large brown eyes like a deer, and the hooves of a deer as well. This last depiction is the one I used as a basis for my doll. Deer Woman is related to love and fertility. She is sometimes said to help women, particularly with conception and childbirth. Sometimes she attends dances. She is said to seduce men, usually those who are known womanizers, or adulterous. She flirts with them and lures them into the forest, where she either stomps them to death, or leaves them, lost and pining away for her. If the man notices in time that she has the hooves of a deer, and is not really human, he can save himself, but this rarely happens - Deer Woman is so beautiful of face and form that few men ever notice her feet. All in all, I see her as a helper and protector of women.

Now, a few things about my doll. She is approximately 7 inches tall. She is made of Japanese glass seed beads, organic cotton thread and organic cotton fiber fill. Her dress and hairstyle are loosely based on that of a Potowatomi maiden (they seem to have a lot of stories about Deer Woman). Her dress is actually made using a beadweaving stitch called the Potowatomi Stitch. It was inspired by the intricate bead embroidery of the Potowatomi people, which usually depicted abstract floral designs. I think it's the perfect stitch for Deer Woman's dress, a pretty dress made of flowers that she could wear to a dance!

One more thing, before the pictures - I have been thinking of a name for my little beaded dolls, to make them easier to find, and to possibly offer them for adoption in the future. I have decided to call them "Faerie Dust Dolls", because the beads sparkle like faerie dust, and because most of them are inspired by folklore :) And now, pictures!

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