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Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Doll Maker: Rhonda Holy Bear

  • Broadcast in Spirituality
H2O Netwo

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Rhonda Holy Bear is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. She was born in South Dakota, at Old Cheyenne River Agency--also known as "Chief Martin Charger's Camp." Rhonda grew up in extreme poverty and was raised mainly by her grandparents, DeSmet and Angeline [Soft] Holy Bear. Rhonda's earliest dolls were a hammer and a clothespin. She sometimes even dressed up her cats and dogs and pretended they were babies. One day, she made a doll from some scraps of cloth she found around the house. "Look Grandma! I made a doll!" she said, handing her creation to her Grandmother Angeline, who was almost completely blind. Her grandmother examined the doll in her hands and told Rhonda the story that has inspired her to create dolls to this very day