Indians of the Great Plains Crafts

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Indians of the Great Plains crafts are great for people who are really into various aspects of history. Learn about Indians of the Great Plains crafts with help from a graphic designer and illustrator in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Arts & Crafts
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Video Transcript

Hey, everybody. My name is Gene, and I'm a graphic designer and illustrator, I've been in the business for about 15 years and I really like Native American designs. What we're going to do today is we're jump in to some great planes Indians crafts, so we're going to explore there, the warrior culture of the Great Planes Indians a little bit. Let's get started. Alright so as you can see here I am starting out with a paper that's go a little bit cut out and the reason I'm doing that is because you want to save all your larger scraps, so that you can reuse them because even this scrap, I'm only going to use the end here and what we're going to be doing is making a war shield and this is going to be something that the Great Plains Indians would have used, when they, they ride in to battle. So I'm going to take just a circle, now their shield would have been make out of leather, so that's why I'm using yellow because it's kind of the closest we have to that very light beige color and you can get light beige construction paper, but I'm just going to draw a circle around my tape, grab my trusty safety scissors and cut it out, there we go and try to get as close to the line as you can, but remember if you've ever had anything leather or seen anything leather probably their war shields even if they were perfect to start with, they are not going to be perfect after they've seen battle or two and the reason that they're not going to be perfect is because if you've got spears and stuff running in to this it's going to, it's going to lose it's shape pretty quickly. So, there we have our, our basic foundation for the war shield and I'm just going to throw a different color paper under, so you can see it easier and on this you want to get pretty creative and take a couple of markers or pens or what ever you have lying around and just draw, you know draw a fun little scene, so I've got this giant, giant pack of markers here and I'm going to grab them, some blue and I'm going to grab some red and that's where we're going to start. So I'm going to draw just a crazy looking bird, here we go we're just going to get kind of designie on you here, I'm going to draw a line straight across here, draw one straight across here. So, this is the great bird, one of the, one of the great things about being a Great Plains Indian is everything is great, you got the great bird, you got the great bear, you got the great deer. You can color in these wings if you want. I'm going to do it, you want to, you want to do it kind of, you know take your time with this. One of the, one of the marks of someone who takes their crafts seriously and it's good to teach you kids this is at a early age, is someone who takes their time and does things with deliberation, they do things deliberately, on purpose with intent. So, you know if you have a child who want's to just take his time with things, let him take his time or her, you know let them be exact, you never know you might have, you know a little Michelangelo on your hands, you know if they like crafts, you never know. Alright so now I'm going to get a little bit impatient and just fill this in because if you have a child who's a little impatient and just gets excited and likes to color, don't hamper that particular desire ether, just let them be kids. Alright so the rest of this I'm just going to outline and what the heck I'm going to go in to some blue here and draw anything you want, draw a little scene, you know maybe you're drawing a teepee, maybe you're drawing a, you know maybe a great buffalo, a great long house, maybe you're drawing, you know just a beach scene, like it doesn't matter it's just, you know it's just, you know what ever the, the, the natives first, you know what ever struck their fancy, what ever they inspired them to come home as they rode in to battle. Anyway, so there's our basic great bird, bam and then I'm going glue that to the center of this piece of paper here using my trusty child safe glue stick, that I just squished accidentally, get some good, good amount of glue on there because this stuff is not great when it comes to holding things, but it is very great if your child likes to eat glue because it's nontoxic, it's very safe, push that down and then I just happen to have some feathers here and one of the things about Native American everything is that birds are very important to natives, birds are, are symbolic in may cultures, so I'm just going to take a couple of these feathers here and these are actually kind of large for this size shield so I'm going to grab some of the smaller ones, then I got these feathers at the craft store, it was like 99 cents, so it's no big deal. What do we got here? Well you get the idea and you take a couple feathers and you got a bunch of little featherlites going every which way, grab your trusty glue stick again, bam. Just get some glue on the feather there, glue that down and these would, these would principally come off the sides of the shield and they served as decoration, in many case they served as, you know status symbol, I know in several cultures, several native cultures you we're allowed to wear feathers depending on who many QOO you had counted and what counting QOO basically, you were such a great warrior that you could walk to your enemy and you could tap him on the head with out him ever even knowing that you were there and still get away and it's a very a sign of prestige among warriors. So from here all there is maybe if you want you, you know you can put a little string up here for a handle, but scene I glued this one down I don't think that's necessary, but there you go. Quick little Great Plains Indian war shield. So that's all there is to it guys. One of the great things about this is that every kid get to be a individual, but at the same time we have a lot of uniform designs, because we're, we're making the war shield, so there's a bunch of shields and they're all the same basic shape and, and, and design, in terms of their construction, but in the center every kid gets to draw anything they want, so at the end you can put all of them up on the wall some where and they can have all these fantastic designs, but there a uniform shape so you get that repetition which is one of the principals of design. Anyway, experiment, have a lot of fun and we'll see you next time. Thanks for watching.


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