American Girl Kaya

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American Girl Kaya is an 18” doll introduced and sold commercially by American Girl in 2002, a company which produces a line of dolls and accessories depicting young, pre-teen girls from historic periods. The doll’s name is pronounced KY-yah and is the shortened version of Kaya’aton’my, or “she who arranges rocks”. She is a 10-year-old historical character from 1764 and was developed to provide a young child’s perspective of events from this important period in American history.

Kaya is a Native American girl from the Nez Perce tribe. The Kaya doll has dark skin, dark brown eyes and long braided black hair. She smiles without baring her teeth, which is considered offensive in Nez Perce culture. Kaya’s tribe is settled in America’s Northwest in the state of Idaho. Her story unfolds before white settlers had disrupted the Native American way of life in America. Kaya has a deep love for horses and a great respect for nature, both traits that nourish her extraordinary spirit.

There are six beautifully illustrated books in the Kaya series beginning with ‘Meet Kaya’ that introduces young owners to the life of Kaya growing up in Idaho among her people and Native American life in 1764. The titles of the six stories in American Girl Kaya’s accurately reflect the cycle of life in Native American tribal society. There is a glossary of Nez Perce phrases and words, many of which have been spelt phonetically.

Kaya’s father is Toe-ta, a wise village leader and an expert horseman. American Girl Kaya’s mother is Eetsa. Kaya has three siblings: mischievous twin brothers, Sparrow and Wing Feather and an older sister, Brown Deer. Both Kaya’s paternal and maternal grandparents live with her family. Kaya has a beloved black horse called Steps High. A dog called Lone Dog becomes Kaya’s special friend.

Kaya’s Native American Tribe

American Girl Kaya’s Nez Perce tribe, whose name means ‘pierced nose’, have lived in the Pacific Northwest region of America for more than 10,000 years. Like many western Native American tribes, Kaya’s Nez Perce tribe was migratory and travelled with the seasons to places where food was abundant.

American Girl Kaya is an attractive doll whose story encourages young girls to have respect for nature, be spirited and develop inner strength. Kaya reinforces the importance of girls to be courageous.

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