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Muñecas Quitapenas (Worry Dolls)

Muñecas Quitapenas (Worry Dolls) are an important Guatemalan tradition.
“The Guatemalan children believe that before you go to bed at night you tell one worry to each doll, put the dolls under your pillow, when you get up in the morning your worries are gone.”

Worry dolls (muñecas quitapenas), or trouble dolls is a type of doll made in Guatemala that, according to old South American tradition, can absorb all of the stress and worries projected by a child, thus allowing that boy or girl to sleep peacefully.
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 tofolklore, 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.
Because they are inexpensive and small to transport, many tourists buy the dolls.

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