What are worry dolls and where does the tradition come from?
A common souvenir to bring home from your travels, Worry Dolls are tiny (anywhere from half an inch to three inches tall) hand-crafted dolls created by the highland indigenous people of Guatemala.
According to local legend, if worries are keeping you awake at night, all you need to do is tell the dolls your troubles — one trouble per doll — and then place the dolls under your pillow. The worries are transferred to the dolls, and you will be able to sleep soundly and awake in the morning with your worries gone.
Some medical centres in the country have used the dolls to help treat sick children, allowing them to relieve their minds of any fears so that they can sleep better at night.
They are created by binding together pieces of wood and then winding colourful cloth, yarn, or woven fabrics around the wood to create traditional Mayan costumes.
Some may hold small baskets or traditional tools. They are stored in bunches of 6-8 in small handmade oval boxes or pouches.