Our state standardized testing is over for the year, so the kids are returning to some fun projects in their curriculum. Third graders have a very big unit on the Oklahoma Land Run. There are several "hands-on" activities sprinkled throughout and yesterday I was able to be a part of one of them, basket-weaving. We made "Cherokee Single Wall" baskets, and learned that there are still two living native indian basket weavers in the state. Their baskets are sold and may earn several hundred dollars each.
|Encyclopedia of Oklahoma's History & Culture|
A group of parents met before hand to get the baskets started. They form from the bottom up so we got all of the bases started and ready for the children to have a good starting place.
The strips of reeds were soaked in buckets of water so they stayed flexible.
Once the children began their part, all they had to do was weave their long reed under/over/under/over the side spokes of the basket.
As they worked it began to form a bowl shape.
When there was about 3-4 inches of the "spokes" left at the top,
the children stopped weaving and the instructors folded them over and tucked them in
to form loops along the edge.
It's amazing how differently they all turned out, even though everyone used the same technique and supplies. Some were small and really tight, some were large and had a looser weave. Some had large stripes, some small. Some sat flat, some didn't :)
All are beautiful and unique, just like the little hands that made them!
Of course, this one was my favorite.
Playing around with PicMonkey effects...I like it! (No lack of personality with this one!)
More beautiful handwoven baskets:
And here's a Cherokee Double Wall basket (remember, we made single wall).
Notice how the inside colors vary from the outside.