Artisan-Enhanced Early American Cloth Doll of "Indian Man" - image 1 of 12

At 65 I seem to be enjoying a second, or maybe third, childhood, suddenly enchanted by certain dolls. This one called from an auction catalogue, asking—no, imploring me—for help. There was no resisting as this fellow told me exactly how he'd lost his Native beads, which were pawned separately, and what an injustice this was to do to a man who had outlived Lincoln, Kennedy, and Reagan. But he could forgive all that if only he had back his jewelry, he said.
"You're in luck; you've come to the right person," I assured him. "I've got tribal silver, Sleeping Beauty turquoise, old corals, pony beads... Will those do?"
"I lost my bracelet, too."
"I'll fix that first. Only take a minute," I assured him, and got straight to work, hammering on a strip of sterling I then wrapped around the wrist at his side. "Better?" I asked.
"Yes. Thank you. Please, keep going. You can see what's missing."
"I can. We'll start with a necklace."
And so it went, all the way down to his moccasins.
"Thank you," he told me as I was tying the last knot.
I'd like to say he's happy now, but we're both pretty alarmed by what's going on right over...there... So, he is still pointing, asking that I take a good look at what's being done to the earth and therefore to ourselves. "I know," I said, when he kept right on pointing, despite some vigorous chiropracting. "It's terrible—I'm so sorry."
"Sorry is only a word," he scolded. "Only air crossing the tongue. Such air won't heal the land."
"That's not always true," I protested, "it depends upon who's saying that word and how they demonstrate it. What would you have me do?" I asked, sincerely.
"Stay with your beads, and plant as many trees as possible," came his instruction.
I wondered if he'd noticed the small forest that is now our back yard. "Did you look around, when we were walking out here?" I asked.
"Of course. I saw many birds, and noticed that Brother Crow does not walk here, though he greeted me in the street when I arrived."
"No," I said, "back here, crows only light in the treetops, for the fruit we can't reach. This is a fifth of an acre on a city block, hot and nearly bare when we arrived, thirty-five years ago. I planted ten of the dozen trees you saw outside." For divulging this, I was rewarded:
"Then it is your 'sorry' that has brought back the birds."
"I would plant more," I told him, "but there isn't enough room nor enough water. But I'm helping my sister plant in Africa."
"Then even crow honors you," he said, embarrassing me.
"Thank you, but it's me who honors all the creatures who visit US. They bring many blessings. Possum eats the ticks. Raccoon eats the snails. Do you see that tree just there? The second tallest one?" (It stands twenty feet.) "A bird brought that one in its dung. I just moved it to a better place, after it sprouted."
He listened while I spoke, thought for a moment, and said, "I know, now, why the Great Spirit told me to call out to you."
"I am twice honored. Thank you for your company. I have a feeling you'll want to be moving on."
"You see with not only your eyes," said my guest.
I told him, "People like you and Brother Crow have opened them."
He had another instruction for me. "Do what you can to tell others about the trees."
"You have my word," I promised.

Please take good care of my friend for as long as he stays with you. He doesn't need much, and asks only for the respect you would give an elder standing 8.5" (21.59 cm) tall and 4" (10.16cm) wide.
I don't know exactly how old he is, and neither did he (his hair was very gray and falling out before I gave him new), but too old for children, I think.

Slight staining of age visible; nothing out of keeping for an antique doll, and no visible damage.
Beige, Black, Blue, Green, Polychrome, Silver, Turquoise

Friday's Joy

Artisan-Enhanced Early American Cloth Doll of "Indian Man"


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