Fun Fact: Kaya's full name means 'She Who Arranges Rocks'.
Kaya's development started five years before her release. Pleasant Company consulted with many tribes before settling on the Nez Perce tribe, also known as the Nimiipuu. Kaya's development team consisted of eight people, including the cultural coordinator for the Nez Perce tribe, tribal elders, educators and historians. They quickly decided that they wanted Kaya's story to be set before contact with European settlers and that Kaya was going to have a new face mold that had a closed mouth, since showing teeth is rude in Nez Perce culture. Kaya was the last Historical Character in which Pleasant Rowland had a role in creating, as she left the company in 2000, two years before Kaya's release. Kaya was introduced to the Nez Perce community on August 15, 2002, which is the day American Girl celebrates her summer birthday.
Kaya is a daring and strong girl who loves her horse Steps High. In her story, she is picked on and called 'Magpie' by other members of her tribe after she makes a mistake, and throughout her series, works to rid herself of this nickname.
Kaya was the only American Girl doll not to have a meet outfit switch during the release of BeForever, likely due to the cultural signifigance of her meet outfit. Caroline Abbott also didn't have a new meet outfit, but she was retired soon after BeForever launched to make room for Maryellen Larkin.