One of the beauties of being in the United States is that it contains a variety of cultures. One way to teach our children respect and appreciation for these cultures is by learning from others' beliefs and traditions. Many indigenous populations in Central and South America use textiles to represent their culture and day-to-day lifestyle. In this activity, give your child some insight into another culture by helping her create an ojo de Dios (eye of God), a representation of the yarn weaving done by the Huichol population of northwest Mexico.
What You Do:
- Glue two wooden sticks together to form a plus sign.
- Glue the end of the yarn where the two sticks were glued.
- To start weaving, wrap the yarn once around one of the sticks. Moving in a clockwise direction, continue to wrap the yarn once around each of the sticks. Make sure to pull the yarn slightly towards the center so there are no gaps.
- Add a different color of yarn by cutting the previous strand and tying in the new one.
- Continue working outward until you reach the ends of the sticks.
- Tie off the yarn on one of the sticks to finish. If you like, leave a little extra yarn after the knot and use it to hang the Ojo de Dios up!
Did You Know?
Traditionally, the eye or center is created by the father at the time of birth. After each birthday a new color is added. When the child arrives at the age of five, the eye of God is complete.
Barbara Sweet has a Master's degree in Education and has taught Spanish in grades K-12, as well as a variety of undergraduate college courses. She is also the mother of a nine-year-old son.