By Janis Doukakis
Grade Level: 2nd – 5th grade
Time Required: Two 45 min. class periods
Students will explore the cultural significance of the Kachina Doll, and the role it plays in the lives of the Hopi Native American Indian Culture. Students will then create a Kachina doll drawing with a unique meaning to apply to their own life.
Kachina (kuh CHEE nah) dolls are a fascinating artifact of the Native American Hopi Indians. These dolls represent the wise and powerful spirits of the Hopi ancestors who are believed to visit earth to help their people live a good life. There are hundreds of Kachinas representing everything from the power to heal, to bringing rain and flowers, to encouraging children to help with chores. The dolls are usually presented to children as gifts.
Learn more about Kachina Dolls at: http://www.warpaths2peacepipes.com/native-indian-art/kachina-dolls.htm.
Now, have your students design their own Kachina doll with unique features and details that represent the purpose it would serve in their own personal lives and home.
1. Have students make a pencil sketch of their own Kachina on 9 x 12 white paper. What will their Kachina represent to them? Will it ward off nightmares? Remind them to use good manners? Represent a love and respect of nature?
2. Trace over the sketch with a black marker, creating areas of black and white geometric patterns and shapes for added contrast and effect.
3. Add bold color with Gel Crayons, markers, paints or oil pastels.
4. Cut out figure and mount on 9 x 12 black or colored paper.
5. Finally, add feather detail with glue.
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