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Don't toy with me!

From our collection: As kids, parents, and everyone in between think toys and games at Christmas or for birthdays, we’re reminded that not only are playthings a part of numerous cultures, they’ve been around for ages, too. A civilization’s toys can tell a good deal about its beliefs, priorities, or everyday life. For instance, Native American toys helped prepare children for adult responsibilities. They were often miniature replicas of tools and implements, and play imitated adult tasks. The first dolls made by Lakota and other Plains tribes were simple figures of clay or rawhide cutouts stuffed with buffalo hair or grass. The detail in doll clothing helped an Indian girl learn her family’s way of making household objects. Finally, they were typically made by grandparents and rarely had much detail so features could be left to a child’s imagination. Toy guns are popular, too, as kids role-played life in the Old West. Take a look at this group of toys from the Center of the West collections. Which is your favorite?

A Buffalo Bill Center of the West Virtual Exhibit
Curated by: Marg2309


NA.507.58
Sioux | South Dakota | toy t...
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NA.507.74
Plateau | toy canoe | green ...
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1.69.6251
Unknown | cap gun | toy | me...
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NA.507.54
Northern Plains | toy tipi c...
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2005.5.1.2
belt | Other | toy | metal |...
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1.69.6256
Unknown | cap gun | toy | me...
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1.69.2536
Miller, Broncho Charlie | to...
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1.69.6253
Unknown | cap gun | toy | me...
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NA.507.47
Nez Perce | Plateau | toy sa...
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1.69.5176
toy chaps | metal | plastic ...
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1.69.6014.1
Louis Marx & Company, 200 Fi...
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NA.507.16
Northern Plains | toy horse ...
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NA.507.2
Cheyenne | Northern Plains |...
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1.69.1705
chair, toy | Woven | wood | ...
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NA.507.73
Crow | toy cradle | doll | B...
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NA.507.61
Ute | Colorado | toy cradle ...
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NA.507.100
Salish | boat | wood | metal...
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1.69.6173
puzzle | toy | paper
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NA.507.75
Colorado | Ute | toy cradle ...
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NA.507.108
Pryor, Montana | Big Day, Ma...
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NA.507.107
Big Day, Mary Lou | Crow | P...
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NA.507.66
Rosebud Indian Reservation, ...
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NA.507.15
Northern Plains | doll | Bea...
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1.69.5313
doll | cloth | leather | com...
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