How to Make Corn Husk Dolls

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Perfect for celebrating Native American Heritage Month or Indigenous Peoples’ Day help elementary students learn about Native American traditions and culture with this hands-on corn husk craft.

Corn Husk Doll Making

Native American children playing with corn husk dolls is a long-lived tradition and corn plays a central role in many Native American cultures. It’s widely regarded as a blessing and a sacred plant that feeds families and brings communities together. Corn husk dolls are decorated with clothing but the doll’s head is not given a face. Help children learn about the Native tradition of corn husk dolls with this engaging and hands-on activity.

What's Included?

  • Printable PDF lesson plan
  • Detailed step-by-step instructions
  • Photographs of each step that can be easily projected or printed for student use.

What Materials Are Needed To Make Corn Husk Dolls?

You’ll need the following materials to make the corn husk dolls:
  • Corn husks (3 for a doll wearing pants, 4 for a doll wearing a skirt)
  • Pipe cleaners or string
  • Scissors
  • Bowl or another container (large enough to soak corn husks)
  • Cold water.

The Story of the Corn Husk Doll

Learn why the Haudenosaunee people don’t put faces on their corn husk dolls through the Oneida tribe’s legend of the no-face doll. This extension story, linked in the lesson plan, explores the importance of the Three Sisters, the Corn Spirit, and the Great Spirit, and tells the story of why the Great Spirit took away the doll’s beautiful face.



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