Worry People

Worry People lined up on my desk, waiting for a worry to take away

A long time ago a writer friend of mine gave me a tiny cloth pouch filled with tiny amulets and magic seeds which she said would ward off writer’s block. I recently had cause to explore the pouch in more detail. One of the items is a minuscule wooden box painted yellow with red and green swirls. It’s shaped like a coffin and it holds six very tiny people dolls, each dressed differently, each with faces painted in slightly different expressions.

Folded into the box is an explanation of them, in English and Spanish, telling me that these are Guatemalan Worry People. Apparently the Mayans in Guatemala (then or now, we don’t know) would tell their worries to little dolls like these, and then put them under their pillows at night. “By morning the worry people have taken their worries away.”

(I should also add that this is the first time I’ve used my laptop as a camera–more practice is clearly required.)