Online Exhibit - Cornhusk Dolls
Unlike most of the folk art and handcrafts of Oaxaca, cornhusk figures were introduced within the last 30 to 40 years. Most artisans who create complex pieces in this modality indicate they are first generation. However, simpler pieces, e.g., flowers and small figures in regional costumes sold as souvenirs at market stands may have been introduced earlier. Corn plays an essential role in Mexican culture. Every element of corn is used from the silks for medicine to the fungus on the kernels (huitlacoche). Mexican Corn Husk Dolls are an example of one of the most dramatic uses for corn is in Mexican crafts. It is traditional in Mexico to use both dyed and natural corn husks for doll making. Also traditional textiles are used for costumes. The dried leaves or husks of corn are referred to as totomoxtle. To make each figure takes approximately 8 to 16 hours depending on the size and the details.