Rainbow in a Rug
How do the Navajo weave such beautiful rugs? Create your own replica Navajo weaving with Crayola® Rainbow Twistables™.
1. Navajo (Dine) weavers are highly skilled artisans. They have been weaving wool for about 150 years. Weaving a 3- by 5-foot (.9 m x 1.5 m) rug can take up to 350 hours after the wool yarn is prepared. It takes even longer if plant dyes are used to dye the wool.
2. Read The Goat in the Rug or a similar book that describes the Navajo weaving process. Discuss with your classmates the steps, tools, and skills involved in weaving a Navajo rug.
3. Navajo rugs and blankets come in many different designs. They often use geometric patterns and themes from nature. Some pattern names are Tree of Life, Crystal Rug, Teec Nos Pos, and Yei and Yeibachai. With your classmates, research these and other styles. Decide on an authentic Navajo rug design you would like to draw.
4. On white paper, use Crayola Rainbow Twistables to design your Navajo rug. Just twist out the colors! Recreate the shapes and sizes of each part of the design.
5. Display your Rainbow Rugs with other artifacts and information about Navajo culture and history.
Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.
- Invent your own weaving design. What symbols would you choose? Give your design a name and draw it.
- Find out about other Native American weaving techniques and designs. Compare and contrast them to Navajo methods.
- Ask a weaver in your community to demonstrate the tools, materials, and techniques she or he uses in weaving.
- With strips of colored paper, do weavings of your own.