A Crow Indian from Montana, the artist was named Artist of the Year by the Indian Arts and Crafts Association. This national, peer-elected, honor was just one of many, many more.
“Through my dolls,” says Mary Lou, “I hope to preserve our past heritage for my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”
This attractive couple is meticulously traditional; dressed in wool, deerskin, leather, pot metal, horsehair, and beadwork.
There is only one break with tradition: Instead of a leather body stuffed with buffalo hair, these have fabric bodies stuffed with cotton.
The beads are all carefully sewn on, individually. Both the male and female dolls are dressed in white buckskin, including their moccasins.
Their hand-braided hair is made of natural horsehair; his braids are intertwined with deerskin.
The white items on their headbands represent elk teeth, a popular decoration for the tribe.
Her knee-length, fringed dress and leggings are decorated with beadwork, as is his tunic and leggings.
The male also wears a striped woolen kilt, under the tunic. Both wear chokers of “bone” and beads, and large earrings.
Her dress is cinched with a leather and metal concho belt. Notice her beaded bag, as well as her beaded, white buckskin moccasins.
The staff he carries is a coup stick, advertising his accomplishments in battle; a painted shield is in his other hand. Feathers stand up from his head.
Enormously appealing and decorative, as well as authentic, this couple is a priceless example of history, heritage, and beautiful, heartfelt, masterful doll-making.
These dolls are wonderful collectors’ items.