Character dolls and accessories commodified by American Girl Company are arranged in simulated environments to explore themes of cultural and phenotypic identity in Colonial America, questions about biological identification, the colonial gaze, and methods of cultural assimilation.


First Contact, American Girl Dolls, american girl company, colonialism, nimipuu, nez perce, native american, kaya,  Diorama Diagrams Jaclin Paul


American Girl Character Doll, Kaya is a fictitious member of the 18th Century Nimi'ipuu tribe who lived nomadically in the Pacific Northwest.  Addy (African, escaped slave), Caroline (Caucasian, post-colonial), and Josefina (Chicano, in New Mexico under Mexican rule) are contemporaries of Kaya in American Girl Company's fictional historic narrative.


Using green screen photography and photo compositing, First Contact depicts Addy, Caroline and Josefina wearing Kaya’s clothes in seasonal dioramas with topographic features that correspond to indigenous Nimi'ipuu territories: Oregon, Idaho and Washington.