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[teacherartexchange] Authentic Native American Crafts - Eastern Woodlands


From: Judy Decker (judy.decker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Nov 11 2005 - 06:05:29 PST

Greetings Art Educators,

There is usually at least one list member wanting some Native American
craft ideas each year. Haven't heard much this year.....

Here are some links to some authentic Native American Crafts (First
People - what ever the political correct term is now).


You can usually purchase inexpensive corn husks at
your local grocery store, and will need to soak them
in water previous to this lesson plan. Illustrated
instructions are included to make this Thanksgiving
corn husk doll.


Dreamcatchers can vary widely in their artistic
interpretations, but they all basically have the same
circle hoop and stitching. Find directions here to
create a web of simple stitches, tying on feathers
and beads to decorate to individual preferences.

These dreamcatchers were originally done by the Ojibwa/Ojibway. Many
other cultures have adopted them.


Birch bark wasn't just used for canoes. With feathers
and twigs, strips of birch bark were combined to make
wonderful fans. Find directions here to make a simplified
and miniature version of this Native American craft.

I did some surfing and found some Ojibwa/Ojibway fans like these


The wonderful medium of birch bark was also used for
making bowls and containers. Different tribes had
different styles; find a template and instructions here
to craft your own seamless container.

These lessons - and others were featured in Riverdeep Newsletter.
Friday is the day when arts and crafts are featured. I get the
newsletter each day and sometime find tid-bits to share with you.
To subscribe to The Classroom Flyer visit:

Remember that Native cultures prefer you teach about their people and
their art using authentic materials. They do not appreciate you using
recycled items (toilet paper tubes, etc). If you want to use recycled
items - I suggest you teach about African crafts.

I encourage you to stay away from the crafts on Enchanted Learning
site as those are not authentic (and one isn't even Native American at
all - the Y rattle idea they show is African. I could not get them to
correct that information. Even the link they gave to justify their
lesson shows an African rattle. Native American versions (Central and
South American) are very different.


Judy Decker
Incredible Art Department
Incredible Art Resources

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