"Kaya" redirects here. For the doll, see Kaya'aton'my (doll).

Kaya was the eighth Historical Character of the American Girls, representing early Native America. Kaya was released in 2002 and is part of the BeForever collection.

Personality and Facts

Kaya (pronounced KY-yah)[5] is a Native American girl of the Nimíipuu, or Nez Perce tribe. Her stories are set prior to permanent settlement of the area by white European-Americans. The stories are post-Western contact, as evidenced by the fact the tribe has horses and her grandmother has pock-marks from prior contact that has led to disease.

Kaya is a very active young girl, fitting with an outdoor lifestyle. She swims in the river every morning with the other girls. She cares greatly for animals, especially horses. She likes her grandmother's stories.

Kaya many times acts before she thinks, getting her into trouble many times through the series. In Meet Kaya, her rash actions get her in trouble, earning a switch from Whip Woman and the nickname "Magpie" which she tries desperately to get rid of. Later, her rash actions get her and Speaking Rain kidnapped by another tribe. Kaya is prone to boast or brag to seem important. She hopes to become a strong, courageous leader of her people.

Kaya tries to seem strong, even when she is feeling at her worst. Remarks made by the boys often hurt her feelings.

Kaya is described as ambitious and resourceful by American Girl.

Kaya was awarded with the name of her heroine, Swan Circling, and is going to use it when she is ready.[6]

Kaya deeply cares about her family and friends. She is best friends with her sister Speaking Rain and they share many secrets with each other. She is also friends with Two Hawks.

American Girl characterizes her as "adventurous" and "daring" with a generous spirit. American Girl featured video describes her as "True-Hearted'. American Girl e-cards describes her also as loyal and clever.

Family and Friends


Friends and Other Characters


See: List of Kaya's Books



The Kaya doll.

Main article: Kaya'aton'my (doll)
  • Face Mold: Kaya Mold (designed with a closed mouth due to a Nimíipuu cultural taboo of baring teeth)
  • Skin: Medium
  • Hair: Textured black, straight, long
  • Eyes: Dark Brown


See: Kaya's Collection


  • Kaya is marketed as the First American Girl, properly acknowledging that Native people were here in America before any European contact or settlements.
  • Kaya's books are set in a time and place that is not technically part of America yet; at the time, some European contact had been made but the Pacific Northwest was still unclaimed by any European nation. The area did not officially become part of the US until the Oregon Country was given to the US as part of the Oregon Treaty of 1846.
  • Many of Kaya's books have titles that differ from the then-set format (Kaya's Escape, Kaya Shows the Way, Kaya's Hero, etc.); this led to later books diverging from the title format that had been carried through Kit Kittredge.

See also


  1. Kaya despises this nickname.
  2. The Nimipuu tribe lived in an area covering parts of Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Oregon.
  3. American Girl tends to hold her birthday celebration in the summer, around the Nimíipuu Salmon Runs Celebration.
  4. The Ghost Wind Stallion takes place during the Summer of 1767.
  5. The Official YouTube video by American Girl places the emphasis on the first syllable.
  6. Nimipuu often changed names and gave names even into adulthood that marked special events, like doing good deeds or showing acts of courage.
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