- "Kaya" redirects here. For the doll, see Kaya'aton'my (doll).
Kaya (pronounced KY-yah) 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-European contact, as evidenced by the fact the tribe caretakes for horses and her grandmother has pock-marks from prior contact that has led to disease spread.
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 for all the children from Whip Woman and the disparaging 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 was awarded with the name of her heroine, Swan Circling, and is going to use it when she is ready.
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 ambitious and resourceful, adventurous, and daring with a generous spirit; a featured video describes her as true-hearted, and American Girl e-cards describe her also as loyal and clever.
- Toe-ta: Kaya's father.
- Eetsa: Kaya's mother.
- Brown Deer: Kaya's older sister.
- Wing Feather and Sparrow: Kaya's younger twin brothers.
- Speaking Rain: Kaya's blind adopted sister.
- Kalutsa: Kaya's grandfather; Toe-ta's father.
- Aalah: Kaya's grandmother; Toe-ta's mother.
- Pi-lah-ka Kaya's grandfather; Eetsa's father.
- Kautsa Kaya's grandmother; Eetsa's mother.
- Tall Branch: Kaya's maternal aunt
- Cut Cheek: Kaya's brother-in-law and Brown Deer's husband.
Friends and Other Characters
See: List of Kaya's Books
- See: Kaya's Collection
- Kaya is marketed as the First American Girl, properly acknowledging that Native and Indigenous American 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.
- Despite the research done for the series, there are several notable inaccurate portrayals, as specified by American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL) founded by Dr. Debbie Reese, which can be read here: American Girls Collection: Kaya.
- Kaya despises this nickname.
- The Nimipuu tribe lived in an area covering parts of what is now Idaho, Washington, and Oregon, with the majority in Idaho.
- American Girl tends to hold her birthday celebration in the summer, around the Nimíipuu Salmon Runs Celebration. Some locations specify the celebration to August 13 or 15th, the latter being when the series was presented to the Nez Perce people.
- The Ghost Wind Stallion takes place during the Summer of 1767.
- The Official YouTube video by American Girl places the emphasis on the first syllable.
- Nimipuu often changed names and gave names even into adulthood that marked special events, like doing good deeds or showing acts of courage.
|American Girl Historical Characters|
Caroline Abbott ♦ ★
Molly McIntire ♦ ★
|★ Archived / ♦ Part of the BeForever Collection|
|BeForever-Revised and Released Historical Characters|
Molly McIntire ♦ ★
|★ Archived | ♦ Re-released for BeForever | ♥ First Released in BeForever|