Tuesday, October 26, 2010

more cultural crafts

Thought I'd share a couple more of the crafts I'm doing with my Harriet Tubman class. One of the things we did was to make quilt squares. Since not all of the kids in that class are masters at sewing, I decided to focus on the content of the squares rather than on piecing them together, so we used fabric glue rather than needle and thread. It was a good choice -- J and a few of the older kids could have handled this as a sewing project, but I think the class in general got more out of it by concentrating on designing their quilt blocks. J chose to depict Harriet herself in his block, pictured here.

Zoo Boy chose to depict a scene from a dream that he had. We had looked at examples of African American quilts that depicted scenes from the bible, from traditional stories, and scenes from their own experience, hopes, or desires.

The block I made is a scene from my own life, a duck on a farmyard pond.

Most of the kids in the class depicted some sort of scene. Some, however, chose to do a pattern, which would have been used in a quilt that was thrown together quickly to provide warmth rather than one that was worked on over the course of time to tell a story. Both methods of quilting were used by the slaves, and it was fun to see all of the original ideas laid out in cloth!

We pulled all of our quilt squares together into a class quilt (still waiting for two more students' squares to complete this one). We'll use the quilt during our presentation on Share Day -- we're putting together a little informational/musical show to share the highlights from our Harriet Tubman story with the Monday Homeschool Classes community, and will be acting out a few scenes. This quilt will be used during scenes in the slave quarter where Harriet lived.

We also learned to tie and wear bandannas, and thought of all the reason why slaves wore them. Zoo Boy liked his so much that he wore his for the rest of the day, here seen building in Keva class with his "head rag" on.

I will again mention how much value sharing our cultural crafts with a group has been for our family. So much so that from now on I will be planning classes around our home study schedule (or planning our home study schedule around classes I can bring to the community). Sharing both the crafts and the cooking (we do a lot of that during class too!) portion of our cultural studies in a community setting brings the culture so much more alive for us, it's definitely one of the best ideas I've had to date!

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