Have you ever seen the decorative floor art called rangoli? Rangoli art from India, a folk art used during Hindu festivals to bring good luck and welcome the Hindu deities. Check out these beautiful google images and then try out this stunning, colorful project with your kids. It’s a beautiful, hands-on, collaborative art project that engages kids and teaches about other cultures! Continue reading
Make a mola: a fantastic example of folk-art from Panamá! Beautiful Panamá: the tropical and mountainous isthmus with coasts on the Caribbean and Pacific that connects the Americas. Off the northern coast of Panamá, there is a string of idyllic islands (an archipelago) called the San Blas Islands. The Kuna Indians were driven out of Panamá by the Spaniards in the 1500′s, and took their boats to live on these islands. They continue to live there today, hunting, fishing, and maintaining traditions. One of Panama’s best-known handicrafts is the mola, intricate reverse-applique handwork made by the Kuna, and now an important symbol of their culture. The layers of brightly-colored fabric form animals or geometric shapes, and are used to decorate the blouses of Kuna women. In fact, the most outstanding designs take hours of complex sewing to complete and is a source of status, and a display of artistic expression and ethnic identity. In the following intricate craft, your kids can make similar designs out of construction paper.
Photo credit: Becky Morales
Rangoli is a decorative folk art from India that is created on the ground in front of entrances to homes, inside the homes, or in courtyards during celebrations to bring good luck and welcome Hindu gods and goddesses. The art is both a religious and cultural symbol, and is found in all homes regardless of income. The details in rangoli decorations can include lotus flowers, mango leaves, geometric shapes, or other elaborate designs made of rice flour, colored sand, or even flower petals. First, let’s see how people in India make rangoli, then we’ll look at some examples from around the world, and finally the kids can make their own rangoli decorations. Continue reading
As long as humans have existed, art has been an important part of social culture. Teaching children about the folk art of other cultures helps us to appreciate what people from around the world consider valuable and beautiful. It allows students to learn about new techniques and materials used in art, and displaying real examples encourages art appreciation in even the youngest students.
Today we’ll look at a traditional Mexican folk art, painted on an organic medium called “amate.” Amate (pronounced “ah-MAH-tay”) is a type of paper produced from the fibers of the bark of fig trees. Beginning in pre-Hispanic times, Continue reading