To have students explore ancient Mayan and Inca Art, its culture, history and symbols. To apply what they have learned and make a traditional Mayan Yarn piece.
Creating dimensions and depth
Samples of original yarn paintings' from South America will be shown to the class. The teacher will read literature to the students on Mayan and Inca mythology. This is later followed by a discussion on the animals and symbols that were considered to have great powers in this art. For example, a monkey is the symbol of the underworld for the Mayans, and a symbol reflecting dance and music for the Indigenous Incas. The jaguar is a symbol of great strength, courage and power. As a result the battle dresses for warriors were made of the Incas were made of jaguar skins. A frog is a symbol associated with sacred water. Other symbols include the dragon, and hummingbird.
Clear drying glue
Yarn (different colors)
Mat Board (7” x10”)
Stencils with symbols coming from ancient Mayan and Inca Art
Students will view a demonstration by the teacher. Students need to pick a design and and practice drawing it or make stencils on newsprint paper. Once they feel comfortable with the drawing, they can draw the design on the board. Pre-made stencils can be used directly to the board. To make a yarn painting students should start with the border. Traditionally all the color of yarn that are used in the yarn painting are in the border. Afterwards students apply the glue to the board following the line of the design. The yarn is then applied to the glue and the toothpick is used to push and hold the yarn till it is glued to the board.
Upon completion the class will have a critique and reflect upon any problems they encountered, things they learned. Since this technique requires lots of patience and neatness, students may gain a greater appreciation for the original Indigenous work and how well it is crafted.
This lesson can be adapted and students can make stencils of an animal of their choice.