The Huichol Indians are among the last of the world indigenious cultures that have been able to maintain their way of life and spiritual traditions. Third graders were introduced to this special group of people through the modern version of a traditional story titled The Journey of Tunuri's and the Blue Deer. Nature is very imortant to the Huichol and through the story we learned about their belief which included sacred spirits that nourish the world- like the sun, earth, water, air and fire. After reading the story student also watched a video about the Huichol, their lives and their art. All the illustrations in the book are actually yarn paintings . Yarn paintings are created by covering wooden boards with wax. Designs are scratched into the boards and then the yarn is pressed into the wax covering the entire surface. The Huichol create yarn paintings that include symbols of the things that are most important to them )like the sun)
After learning about this native group students set out to design their own yarn paintings. Each child thought about the things that are most important to them and created symbols to describe those ideas. Students created their yarn painting on boards of recycled cardboard covered with contact paper to help them attach their yarn.