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Mary Lou Big Day

“I was still a girl when I married… at sixteen,” says Mary Lou. “My mother-in-law was like another mother to me. She taught me beadwork, and how to make moccasins and clothing, as well as how to dry and store meats.” When her grandson wanted a way to earn pocket money, she worked with him to create a doll couple in traditional Crow regalia. When they sold quickly, he continued until he went off to college, leaving his grandmother to continue the new tradition. From that small beginning, a prize-winning career was born.
Now, she and her husband traverse the United States, selling her award-winning, dolls and informing the public of Crow traditions. Traditionally, dolls were more than just playthings: they were meant to teach girls about their responsibilities, to respect their future roles as women, mothers, grandmothers, and to instill the history of the tribe. Mary Lou continues this tradition by hoping her intricately dressed and decorated dolls preserve Crow heritage for present and future generations.