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 Make a Brighid Corn Doll

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PostSubject: Make a Brighid Corn Doll   Make a Brighid Corn Doll EmptyThu 08 Jul 2010, 7:53 pm

Make a Brighid Corn Doll IMG_0116

In one of her many aspects, Brighid is known as the bride. She is a symbol of fertility and good fortune, and is seen as yet one more step in the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. Traditionally, the Brighid doll is made of woven grain such as oats or wheat. This version, however, uses corn husks.

If you made a doll back at Lughnasadh, you can re-use it, dressing it up in spring colors. This way, the Harvest Mother becomes the Spring Bride. Some traditions, however, prefer not to re-use their harvest doll, and instead choose to start fresh and new in the spring. Either way is fine.

Make a Brighid Corn Doll CornDoll1

To make this simple doll, you'll need some corn husks -- and clearly, in January or February, you probably won't be able to find a lot of those growing outside. Check your grocery store's produce section to get husks. If you're using dried-out husks, soak them for a couple of hours to soften them up (fresh husks need no special preparation). You'll also need some yarn or ribbon, and a few cotton balls.

Take a strip of the husk, and fold it in half. Place two or three cotton balls in the middle, and then twist the husk, tying it with string to make a head (See Figure 1). Leave a bit of husk in the front and back, below the head, to create a torso.

Make a Brighid Corn Doll CornDoll2

Make a pair of arms for your doll by folding a couple of husks in half, and then tying it at the ends to make hands. Slip the arms between the husks that form the torso, and tie off at the waist. If you like your dolls plump, slide an extra cotton ball or two in there to give your Brighid a bit of shape [Figure 2].

Make a Brighid Corn Doll CornDoll3

Arrange a few more husks, upside down, around the doll's waist. Overlap them slightly, and then tie them in place with yarn -- it should look like she has her skirt up over her face. After you've tied the waist, carefully fold the husks down, so now her skirt comes downwards, towards where her feet would be (Figure 3). Trim the hem of the skirt so it's even, and let your doll completely dry.

Make a Brighid Corn Doll CornDoll4

Once your doll has dried, you can leave her plain or give her a face and some hair (use soft yarn), as in Figure 4. Some people go all out decorating their bride doll -- you can add clothing, an apron, beadwork, whatever your imagination can create.

Place your Brighid in a place of honor in your home for Imbolc, near your hearth or in the kitchen if possible. By inviting her into your home, you are welcoming Brighid and all the fertility and abundance she may bring with her.

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