Joyce LaPort’s Faceless Dolls

Posted by | Filed under South Ridge, Success for the Future grant | Jun 13, 2011 | No Comments

DSC_2847DavidwithhisdollArtist LaPort worked with students in grades 3-12 making a faceless doll. The doll was first made for Ms. LaPort as a gift from her Grandmother. As a young girl Ms. LaPort  spent a lot of time with her Grandmother. Her Grandmother wanted to teach Joyce how to use the needle and thread. Between their homes was a small body of water that provided some of the supplies needed to sew a doll. The body was made from scraps of leather sewn with stinging nettle and stuffed with cat tail fluff. The clothes were made from remnants and the hair was her Grandmothers. The doll had no features on its face. Ms. LaPort asked her Grandmother why there was no face. Her Grandmother brought her down to the water and they looked at their reflections in the water. Her Grandmother told her that her reflection was only to be seen in the water.

Ms. LaPort spent 10 days over two months working with the students. Based in the Art classroom, she spent four days assisting students in beginning their work. Students were *supplied with materials to make a four inch leather doll stuffed with buffalo fur. The hair is horse tail and the thread is imitation sinew. Students learned to use the Glover’s needle in a safe way. Some of the High School Ojibwe language students assisted the younger students in completing the project. She returned periodically to assist and redirect students to complete their doll.

Once all the dolls were completed an afternoon “feast” of snacks was given in honor of Ms. LaPort. The dolls were put on display at the Fond du Lac Reservation Historical Museum and the Spring Music Concert at AlBrook.

For more information contact Joyce LaPort at 218-428-8444

*Supplies are available through Lietzau Taxidermy Atten: Chuck,

353 Milkyway Street North  Cosmos, MN 56228  (320) 877-7297

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