Guatemalan Worry Dolls

Screen Shot 2018-04-26 at 10.03.26 AMThe informant was my 15 year old cousin (referred to as LC) who was adopted from Guatemala when she was 2. She obviously does not remember her home, but she went back recently and I asked her if she had picked up any souvenirs or things she liked there and if she could tell me about them. She told me she bought a set of worry dolls (similar picture below).

LC: “When we went there were all these sellers everywhere. Most things were really colorful and bright but all made out of twine or thread and stuff like that. Everything was really brightly colored too.”

CI: “And what are the little dolls you got supposed to represent?”

LC: “Well they are worry dolls and apparently if you are worried about something, you are supposed to confess to the dolls at night and then put them under your pillow and then when you wake up in the morning your worries will be gone.”

The idea of a worry doll is quite simple, yet beautiful. To me it says that Guatemalan people are open to discussing worries and issues rather than withholding them where it boils up. I think that speaking your worries out loud and then letting it go and giving it to the worry doll is such a nice idea. I do wonder if it is a more commercialized tourist object now though and if the people of Guatemala actually use this method as a way to release stress.