JEFFERSON — On Jan. 18, local crafter and pre-k teacher at Sizemore Headstart, Becky Rose, dedicated her time to the community to share the craft of making corn husk dolls at the Museum of Ashe County History.
Rose taught visitors of all ages how to make the dolls at a table set up inside of the entrance of the museum from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
She also shared the history of the dolls with great enthusiasm and was dressed in ladies’ period clothing, donning a bonnet and an apron made by her grandmother.
“It’s a corn shuck doll, it’s something they used to use to play with. Back in the 1800s, they couldn’t go to a store to get what they needed, they didn’t have Walmarts and things like that,” Rose explained to Franklin, a local 7-year-old.
The process of making the dolls is fairly simple and just requires some water to wet the corn husks, a pair of scissors and butcher’s twine to tie off sections of the husk to form the head, arms and the bonnet.
Rose learned how to make the dolls when she worked as a ranger on the Blue Ridge Parkway and has lost count of how many she has made over the years. She simply enjoys making them and teaching others the craft.
Rose tells everyone that she teaches about the versatility of the dolls and encourages them to make them their own. During the years, she has made both girl dolls and boy dolls and has even makes clothing for some of them.
During the demonstration, she created a doll of her own that she added puffy dress sleeves to and she donated to Don Long, curator at the museum.
It will be placed in the museum’s upcoming Native American exhibit, which is expected to be opened in May.