Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Native American Buffalo Hides

2000 years ago, the Anasazi Indians inhabited the cliffs of the Southwest. They were the ancestors of the Pueblo Indians who live there today. There are 20 pueblo villages left; at one time there were 200! These ancient villages are built from adobe bricks. These natural homes are warm in winter and cool in summer; it rarely rains in the Southwest, so they won't melt.

The Anasazi Indians left Petroglyph drawings on rocks and cliffs. Some were chiseled into the rock with animal antlers, some were etched with the acid juices from cactus plants. They are pictures of Indian symbols. Symbols are pictures drawn very simply of things in nature, such as animals, plants, stars, people, etc.

The Indians were very spiritual people. They respected the earth, never wasted resources, and were ingenious at using the things in nature around them.

Students created these buffalo hides over three classes. We began by drawing a narrative using Native American symbols. After the drawing, students covered the paper with a light brown watercolor and cut the paper to look like a real buffalo hide.

The next class, students used fluorescent tempera paint to paint in all of their symbols. For the last class, students outlined all their symbols and also created a pattern around the edge of the hide.

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