Desert Peoples / Native Peoples

Male Doll

Male Doll

ca. late 1800s

The Mohave community, or Pipa Aha Macav, mostly live along the Colorado River, spanning what is now the Arizona and California border. Mohave women made children’s toys such as clay animals and human dolls with traditional adult clothing and tattoo patterns.

The earliest written mention of Mohave clay figures is in 1854, when explorers first entered the area to search for a transcontinental railroad route. When the railroad built a station in Needles, California in 1883, Mohave women began making dolls and other collectors’ items to sell to travelers. Today, a few contemporary potters continue the tradition of doll-making.

Clay, glass, beads, paint, fabric, hair. H 18.4, W 5.9 cm
Joshua Tree National Park, JOTR 420