Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Our Class "Adinkra Cloth"

Inspired by the story "The Talking Cloth" (from our anthology, Houghton Mifflin Reading/ California), our class made a simplified version of African Adrinka Cloth.
After showing the class examples of Adrinka stamps, cloths, and artisans; and discussing the meaning of certain motifs; we were ready to create out own cloth. 
African Adinkra Cloth from Ghana

Calabash stamps are softened for a year with shea butter, then a symbolic pattern is carved.

The stamp is dipped in dye, then gently rocked to print the image onto the fabric.  
The symbol is repeated within rectangular borders      
Photos included with permission of Dr. Carol Ventura

Our Adinkra Cloth Project: 
Each child used half of a potato which they carved into a stamp.  They cut simple geometric designs using a pumpkin carving tool.  Next, they painted black tempra paint onto the surface of the stamp.  Afterward, they practiced stamping a piece of paper, then were given a scrap of fabric to create a repeated design using their stamp multiple times. 
Later, I tacked each cloth onto a large piece of fabric.
As a cross curricular  connection, I had each child choose a character trait from Character Counts and record the meaning of their personal symbol.  
Example:  "My Adinkra Cloth symbol stands for trustworthiness.  It tells us to have the courage to do the right thing."

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