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Discover the timeless beauty of Native American designs. This parfleche is so contemporary!
Present historic and contemporary information about the cultures of one or more of the Native American Plains Indians including the Sioux, Crow, and Blackfoot to the class. Students will learn about their homes, foods, everyday life, transportation, and tribal governance. They used parfleches, or rawhide envelopes and boxes, to carry their belongings while following bison (often called buffalo) herds. What designs were common? Have students choose one or more of these distinctive patterns to duplicate on a replica of a parfleche.
Cover work area with recycled newspaper. Students carefully separate four large brown paper grocery bags where they are glued together. Measure and cut out four rectangles approximately 27 by 18 inches (69 by 46 cm) with Crayola® Scissors. Round the rectangle corners.
Soak or spray the four sheets of paper with water. Gently crumple to squeeze out excess water. Use a Crayola Paint Brush or sponge to spread Crayola School Glue on each damp sheet. Layer one on top of the other, with print facing inward. Place heavy objects on top to flatten the bags. Dry.
Fold the top of the layered bags down about 5 1/2 inches (14 cm). Fold the bottom up until it almost touches the top flap. Fold each side into the center to form two flaps. Place heavy objects on the parfleche to hold its shape.
Decorate the outside of the parfleche with Crayola Crayons, using a colorful, authentic Plains Indian design.
Punch holes on the top and bottom of each flap. Thread strings or ribbons through the holes to close the parfleche.
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