muñecas quitapenas

From my project based on traditional dolls and figures from around the world, this illustration is inspired by Guatemalan Worry Dolls.

Worry Dolls (muñecas quitapenas) are tiny dolls traditionally made in Guatemala. They were originally created to relieve worrying. According to folklore, when a person is kept awake by worries, they can tell the worry to the dolls. The dolls are placed under a pillow and take over worrying on behalf of the person, allowing them to sleep peacefully. The dolls take the worries away during the night so that in the morning, the person wakes up without the worries.


It’s a small world after all.

My friend is making these ‘worry dolls’ for a carnival. 

From Wiki: Worry dolls (SpanishMuñecas quitapenas, “Dolls [that] remove worries”), or trouble dolls, are very small and colorful dollstraditionally made in Guatemala. A person (usually a child) who cannot sleep due to worrying can express their worries to a doll and place it under their pillow before going to sleep. Some medical centers use them in conjunction with treatment for disease in children.According to folklore, the doll is thought to worry in the person’s place, thereby permitting the person to sleep peacefully. The person will wake up without their worries, which have been taken away by the dolls during the night. Parents may remove the doll during the night, reinforcing the child’s belief that the worry is gone. Some parents involve the child in making the dolls to further increase the psychological benefits of releasing worries, and instructions may be found online.

My friend, who is Korean is making Korean style worry dolls. Aren’t they cute? 


A project inspired by traditional dolls and figures from around the world. I wanted to focus on the concept of dolls as objects imbued with symbolism and meaning, rather than playthings.

I hope to post these illustrations individually soon, with some information about their significance.