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The Ancestor Doll

The Ancestor Doll is a doll that represents all of your positive ancestors known and unknown and, for this reason, the doll will not have a face (see photo at right) nor will its gender be evident. However, in some cases a practitioner will make a female ancestor-doll, a male ancestor-doll or one of each depending on their personal choices. To make an Ancestor Doll, sew a doll from the used clothing of a deceased relative or relatives. Alternately, if no such clothing is available, the doll can be made in white cloth. The doll can then be stuffed with bunting as well as those items that are usually found on an Ancestor Altar such as personal artifacts, graveyard dirt, copies of birth/death certificates, etc... If you don't have any personal artifacts for a deceased family member, simply write their full name on a piece of paper and include whatever pertinent information you have (birth/death date) as well as any happy memories or stories involving that person. In this way you are preserving the memory of that event/story and creating your own personal artifact. To use the doll they are held, talked to, and can be carried with you when traveling. In this way the Ancestor-Doll is akin to a portable ancestral altar. The Ancestor Doll is the perfect choice for anyone who wishes to honor and work with their ancestors but who has a limited amount of space to work with or for those who must work in secret for any number of reasons.

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