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by Gerald Musinsky
Ohtas, or Doll Being, is the basis for the Doll Dance. During the earliest ritual dance, a lone child without dancing partner fashioned a doll from discarded cornhusks. This doll then revealed to possess marvelous powers of healing and well being. Because of this manifestation, a yearly tradition of carving wooden dolls evolved along with the dance to celebrate the honor of the Ohtas. The dolls too were believed to bring good luck and prosperity to the people. This tradition was practiced well into the 20th century.

[Leni Lenape]

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