Paige is a writer, doll collector, and American Girl enthusiast.
Kaya is the 8th Historical Character doll made by American Girl. Taking place from 1764 to 1767, Kaya’s story is the earliest of all the AG dolls. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, post-European contact but before permanent European settlement. As a member of the Nimíipuu or Nez Perce tribe, she is the first and only Native American Historical doll. She has been active since 2002.
About This Collector’s Guide
Since Kaya dolls have been in production for 20 years now, many of her clothes and accessories have been discontinued over the years. This can make it difficult to locate and purchase all of her outfits.
This collector’s guide will list and describe Kaya’s Meet Accessories and all of her clothing, both retired and currently in production, in the hope it will make it easier for Kaya fans to acquire these elements of her collection. I plan to make similar guides for the other Historical Character dolls in the future.
Note on Imitation Animal Products in Kaya's Outfits
Before you continue reading, is important to note that, in reality, Kaya’s clothing would have been made with animal products like leather and fur. That being said, unless otherwise stated, all of the animal materials in Kaya’s collection are imitation. I have put quotation marks around terms like suede, deerskin, and antler to make this distinction.
Kaya’s Meet Outfit
Years Active: 2002–present
Cost: Kaya’s Meet Outfit cannot be purchased separate from the Kaya doll, which currently costs $115.
Description: The Kaya doll comes dressed in this outfit. It includes “deerskin” moccasins, a “leather” belt, and a fringed “deerskin” dress decorated with blue beads and a white beaded trim. A dark spot at the front of the dress is meant to look like a deer’s tail. Additionally, Kaya comes with “shells” at the top of each of her braids and “leather” ties at the end of her braids.
Unlike many of the other Historical Character dolls, Kaya’s Meet Outfit has never been modified since her original 2002 release.
Kaya’s Meet Accessories
Years Active: 2002–present
Description: Kaya’s Meet Accessories originally only included a three-chained, red, blue, and green “porcupine quill” necklace with white beads, a woven rectangular belt pouch with a geometric floral design, and a rectangular cloth bag with a triangular pattern. The belt pouch has loops on the back that can connect it to Kaya’s belt.
In 2019, this accessory set was expanded to include a brown “horn“ cup and a map. The cup is attached to straps decorated with fringe and blue and tan beads. The map depicts Nez Perce settlements and travel trails. There is a message on the back of the map explaining that Kaya and her family wouldn’t have actually used or needed maps. Instead, they would have relied on natural landmarks while they traveled.
Jingle Dress of Today I
Years Active: 2002–2007
Description: An outfit that would be worn by modern Nez Perce girls. The dress is two shades of blue with a line of white at the shoulders and decorated with many rows of metal jingles which make sound as the wearer moves. The outfit also includes a circular metal belt, white shoes with a blue geometric pattern at the center, matching blue hair ribbons, and a navy kerchief to be held around the doll’s neck with a circular blue, white, and yellow rosette.
Fancy Shawl Outfit of Today
Years Active: 2003–2007
Description: An outfit which would be worn by modern Nez Perce girls. The outfit consists of a short-sleeved yellow blouse, a purple vest with blue trim, a white yoke with a colorful geometric design and three rows of blue and yellow beads at the center, a long purple skirt with a ruffled hem, and a blue kerchief and beaded rosette. The shawl is red silk with red, yellow, and blue fringe. The outfit also came with two circular hair rosettes to be worn at the top of Kaya’s braids, yellow hair ribbons, and white moccasins with a yellow, red, and purple stripe.
Kaya's Hat and Parfleche
Years Active: 2002–2008
Description: A white, woven hat with red and black stripes, brown trim, and feathers attached to two cords at the top. A crescent “antler” bracelet tied with “leather,” and a “leather” parfleche that ties closed. The parfleche has a yellow, red, green, and blue design.
Kaya would have used the parfleche to carry food and other items.
Pow-Wow Dress of Today I, AKA Kaya’s Dance Dress of Today
Years Active: 2005–2011
Description: An outfit that would be worn by modern Nez Perce girls. A cream “suede” dress with fringe and orange cord trim. The dress has orange and red embroidery at the shoulders, a yellow insert, a shell bead with white fringe, and three strings of brown beads. Moreover, there is a red, orange, and yellow embroidered sash attached to a red ribbon belt, a head piece with feathers, a gold, brown, and white beaded choker, and matching shoes with embroidery.
This outfit came with a child-size matching choker that girls could wear to match their doll.
Pow-Wow Dress of Today II
Years Active: 2011–2015
Description: An outfit meant to be worn by modern Nez Perce girls. A blue “suede“ dress with a yellow insert, red trim, and fringe. The dress has an embroidered stripe at each shoulder which makes a red, yellow, and orange geometric pattern. There is embroidery that matches this pattern on each side of a shell bead at the top of the dress. Under this shell, there are three rows of red beads. The outfit also comes with a feather head piece, an embroidered sash (which matches the pattern on the shoulders) attached to a red ribbon belt, and matching blue moccasins with embroidery.
Jingle Dress of Today II
Years Active: 2014–2015
Description: This limited edition outfit is meant to be worn by modern Nez Perce girls. The dress is bright pink with two rows of turquoise and yellow ribbon trim on the skirt. Rows of metal jingles are attached to this trim. The bottom skirt is also decorated with green floral embroidery which matches the design of the two rosettes meant to be worn at the top of Kaya’s braids. Furthermore, the outfit comes with a vest, belt, and shoes which are all turquoise with yellow trim and floral embroidery. There is also a hair comb with feathers.
Additionally, the most noteworthy feature of the Jingle Dress of Today II is that it comes with a drum and mallet. The drum is tan and is about the size of the doll’s torso. At the center is a pink, turquoise, yellow, and green geometric design. The drum mallet is pink, white, and turquoise.
Modern Fancy Shawl Outfit
Years Active: 2015
Description: This limited edition outfit would be worn by modern girls in the Nez Perce tribe. The shawl is red and has a blue, red, and yellow geometric pattern. It also has red fringe, and the sides are trimmed with blue and yellow triangles. The dress is mostly red, though the bodice is white and is embroidered with the same pattern that is on the shawl. There is a white stripe with a yellow stripe above it at the bottom of the dress. The outfit also comes with a feather head piece and white boots embroidered with the same pattern as the dress and shawl.
Adorned Deerskin Dress
Years Active: 2002–2013; 2013–2018
Cost: $26; later $32
Description: A fringed ”deerskin” dress with moccasins. The top of the dress features a red, blue, and white design made of “porcupine quills.” Lower on the dress there are rows of red and blue beads with “elk’s teeth,“ and a belt with red and black triangles.
The beads were later replaced with rows of embroidery in 2013. With this change, the dress was renamed ”Kaya’s Deerskin Dress.”
Winter Cape and Hood
Years Active: 2002–present
Cost: $22; later $28; currently $30
Description: A white “rabbit fur” cape with red straps. Brown mittens and moccasins, both trimmed with gray “fur.” Plus, a brown hood with gray “fur” trim, “leather” ties, and real feathers on the right side.
Currently sold as “Kaya’s Winter Accessories.”
Pow-Wow Dress of Today III
Years Active: 2015–present
Description: A garment that would currently be worn by Nez Perce girls. A cream dress that is turquoise on top and is decorated with pink ribbon trim and pink and blue geometric embroidery. It also includes a woven belt decorated with the same design, an embroidered hair comb with embroidered feathers, and embroidered turquoise boots.
Kaya’s Trading Outfit
Years Active: 2017–present
Description: A white, fringed ”deerskin” dress with a matching pair of lace-up moccasins. The dress is embroidered with red and blue triangles at the shoulders. It is also decorated with red and blue beads to fringe. A geometric belt matches the beads and embroidery.
Happy AG Collecting!
Thank you for reading this collector’s guide. I plan to write a collector’s guide for Felicity’s outfits and accessories next.
© 2022 Paige Davanzo