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Friday, December 12, 2014



I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  A few years ago, Bob and I visited the Oneida Nation Headquarters, in Oneida, New York (central New York). I must say it was one of the most enjoyable visits I’ve ever made.  I ended up enjoying National American legends.

Here is the legend of the Iroquois no-face doll that I extrapolated from a handout that I received at the Oneida Nation Headquarters.  Hope you all enjoy it.

            The Iroquois people have what they call the three sisters or their sustainers of life -- corn, beans, and squash.

As the legend goes, the Corn Spirit was so thrilled at being one of the sustainers of life that she asked the Great Spirit if there was anything more she could do for her people. The Great Spirit told her that a doll could be formed from her husk. So, she made the doll and gave it a beautiful face. Then, the doll went from Indian village to Indian village and played with the children.  Everywhere she went she was told how beautiful she was. So, it wasn't long before she became conceited.

One day, the Great Spirit called to her. But, before she went into the Great Spirit's lodge, she looked into a pool of water and admired herself, thinking how beautiful she was. The Great Spirit told her that if she kept thinking that she was better than everyone else a terrible punishment would come upon her, but he wouldn't tell her what it was.

So, again the doll went from village to village playing with the Indian children and still everyone kept telling her how beautiful she was. It wasn't long before she became conceited again. The Great Spirit called to her again and like the first time, she looked into the pool of water before the Great Spirit's lodge to admire herself.

Upon entering the lodge the Great Spirit said to her, "I have given you one warning now a great punishment will come upon you." But, he still wouldn't tell her what it was. When she left the lodge she again looked into the pool of water to admire herself but this time she didn't have a face. The Great Spirit had taken it away.

Since that time the Iroquois people do not put a face on the corn husk dolls. This is to remind children, never to think they are better than anyone or a punishment as great could fall upon them.


  1. Oh what a great story. I reminds me of the ones my parents gave to me. Thank you so much for sharing this part of your trip. I love the joy of learning from so many people, places and yes even things. Thank you! Doris

  2. Good Morning Phyliss. What a wonderful legend. I know so little about the Iroquois Indians. I love anything having to do with Indian legends and such.

  3. Me again. I have a corn husk doll in my china cabinet. I collect dolls. Sure enough it has no face.

  4. A very interesting concept. I can't help but think f the Amish who do not put faces on their dolls to avoid the possibility of the devil watching them from the doll's eyes. It kind of makes it sound like many different cultures are freaked out by dolls with faces.
    I hope you have a wonderful holiday season, Phyliss. Enjoyed your blog.

  5. Phyliss,

    This was an interesting post and the comments added even more interesting tidbits. ;-) I didn't know why some dolls were faceless. I'm freaked out by baby dolls with the eyes that open and close when you lay them down and pick them up. *shivering*


  6. Hi Phyliss, I'm late posting because I'm just now reading back posts that I missed. I love the story of the faceless doll. There are so many legends and stories in Indian history. Thanks for posting this.