• Product Size: 0.75" H ; 6 worry dolls
Worry Dolls are tiny, hand-crafted dolls from Guatemala. The dolls are clothed in traditional Mayan costumes and stand one-half to 2 inches tall. Guatemalan artisans bind pieces of wood together or twist together short lengths of wire to create a frame and fashion a torso, legs, arms, and head. By winding cloth and yarn around the frame, the artisans give the doll shape. They use scraps of traditional woven fabric to make the doll costumes and wind more yarn to create the head, hair, feet and hands. Sometimes, they add a tiny woven basket or other traditional implements. Finally, they place a set of 5-12 dolls in tiny wooden boxes or cloth pouches for sale.
The indigenous people from the Highlands in Guatemala created Worry Dolls many generations ago as a remedy for worrying. According to the Mayan legend, when worrying keeps a person awake, he or she tells a worry to as many dolls as necessary. Then the worrier places the dolls under his or her pillow. The dolls take over the worrying for the person who then sleeps peacefully through the night. When morning breaks, the person awakens without the worries that the dolls took away during the night. A variation of the legend instructs a person to tell the dolls her worries then place them in their cloth pouch or wooden box before going to bed.
CAUTION: Not suitable for children under 3 years old. CHOKING HAZARD.
For over 10 years Maya Traditions has worked with Maya indigenous weavers in the highlands of Guatemala. Working with more than 100 Maya women in five established groups in rural villages, Maya Traditions promotes women who do backstrap weaving—an ancient traditional art that women can do from their homes while caring for their families— as well as crochet artisans, footloom weavers and other small family artisan businesses.
For a typical Maya woman, weaving is a ritual part of her daily life. After doing family chores before dawn, she unrolls and connects her loom. She sits, strapping the loom around her waist, and weaves 3 or 4 hours until she prepares lunch for her family, then weaves another 3 or more hours until sunset. To weave a traditional huipil blouse may involve two or three months of this daily ritual.
Linguistically differentiated by as many as twenty languages, the Mayans share a common bond through their weaving heritage. Many aspects of Maya Culture are communicated by costume or “traje.” It is a true art form where a woman shows her artistry and level of commitment to cultural identity. At the heart of Maya Traditions’ efforts is the improvement of the quality of life. Many people in the area are faced with poverty and lack basic services. As a member of the Fair Trade Federation, Maya Traditions ensures the artisans are paid a fair price for their products, and has established programs to help artisans with health care and education for their children.