Dolores Anderson

Dolores Anderson with one of her dolls.
Dolores Anderson (nee Scheffen) is among the Yukon artists involved with Sewing Our Traditions: Dolls of Canada’s North the exhibition that is heading to Northern Scene in April.

The exhibition, which has just completed touring across Canada and to Cambridge, UK, is a collection of more than 50 handmade dolls created by Inuit and First Nations from across the Canadian North. The exhibition was originally curated by the Yukon Arts Centre for the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad.

Anderson, who was born in Mayo and now lives in Dawson City, learned to sew and bead from her mother and grandmother at a very young age. For generations Inuit and First Nations women used dolls to teach their daughters the important skills of cutting and sewing hides and furs. To this day, the art of traditional doll-making is alive and vibrant. Modern doll-makers continue to pass their knowledge from generation to generation.

However, when Anderson made her first doll in 2009, it was the first in her community since the 1950’s. The clothing the doll wears is an example of the traditional regalia worn by the Han people when they perform their traditional songs and dances.

“I am proud to be able to carry on my culture and traditions by creating these dolls,” Anderson says. “I hope that we can continue to share our culture and traditions with people around the world through the dolls.”

With her busy touring schedule, that hope continues to be realized.

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