Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Fall 2012


Great Plains Quarterly 32:4 (Fall 2012).


Copyright © 2012 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska.


Life in miniature, history in vibrant hues, art on parade-this is what is presented in Grand Procession, a catalogue printed by the Denver Art Museum to accompany its recent exhibit of contemporary Native American dolls. Meant to serve as a celebration of this art form, the book makes clear that these figures are more than just playthings: they are sculptural "little people" meticulously clothed and accurately designed to depict Plains and Plateau ceremonial regalia.

Dolls have been created for centuries throughout North America, and exhibits such as the Heard Museum's 2010 More Than Child's Play have sought to elevate the art form to where it belongs-among other respected Native art practices. In Grand Procession, detailed snapshots of the exhibit's dolls in all their finery sit alongside descriptions from the artists themselves, compiled and edited by the Native adornment scholar Lois Sherr Dubin, best known for her encyclopedic The History of Beads (1987) and North American Indian Jewelry and Adornment (1999).