Seminole Indian Crafts

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Small children need beads with large holes.
Small children need beads with large holes. (Image: multi-coloured beads, background from beads image by 26kot from Fotolia.com)

Seminole Indians, who live primarily in Florida, originally included members of the Creek tribe, who came to Florida from Georgia and Alabama. The word Seminole originally meant “runaways” according to the Florida Division of Historical Resources. Today, the Seminoles of Florida refer to themselves as the “Unconquered People.” Florida's Seminoles maintain traditional crafts and styles with modern touches that can be adapted for children’s crafts.

Crafts with Geometric Designs

The traditional Seminole jacket and patchwork patterns of stripes, symbols and interlocking diamonds were used in clothing for both people and dolls and are still used in all types of clothing and also in headbands, purses, baby bonnets and pot holders, according to semtribeinc.com.

Children can use the same geometric designs and symbols painted on their own crafts, such as place mats, flower pots and picture frames. Show your children Seminole designs and let them copy the patterns or create their own variations on them. Use rick-rack for an easy way to adorn craft items.

Bead Crafts

According to nativetech.org, Seminoles used beads for necklaces and for decorations on clothing and pouches. The website notes that traditional beads were made of glass in a limited range of colors that included white, pink, blue, black, green and tan. According to theancientweb.com, Seminole women received strings of beads on their birthdays until they reach middle age, at which time they began removing one strand each year.

Children can make their own strands of beads using yarn, leather or plastic for the string and beads or pasta. Paint the pasta after you string the beads or color them before stringing by shaking the pasta in a bag with a few drops of alcohol and food coloring.

Hand and Face Painting

Seminoles painted their faces and hands for battle reenactments or momentous events, using a mixture of colored powder and fat., according to nativetech.com. Traditional colors included red for war, white for peace, black to prepare for war, green under the eyes to heighten night vision, and yellow to represent death.

Children can recreate face and hand painting by decorating their own hand prints or by coloring paper plate masks with small circles on the forehead and cheeks and small stripes on the nose and corners of the mouth.

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