Kindergarten artists have started a brand new unit called art around the world. In this unit we “travel” to different countries to learn about their art making traditions and techniques. The first place we visited was Ghana to learn about Kente cloth.
We viewed images of real Ghanaian Kente cloth and observed the different lines and shapes used. Artists noticed that Kente cloth was comprised of strips of fabric, each with a repeating pattern. Next, they learned that the designs are actually symbols that represent characteristics that are important to families to pass down to the next generation. For example, the diamond represents the importance of respecting parents, the vertical lines represent strength, and the zigzag lines represent fairness.
Next, the class brainstormed qualities that are important to them, and came up with their own corresponding symbols. For example, the paw print reflects the importance of caring for animals, the triangle represents bravery and the curly-cue represents fun. Then, they chose two symbols and created their own strip of Kente cloth using oil pastels and watercolor. I combined all of the strips to create two Kindergarten Kente cloths hanging in the art room and on a bulletin board on the 3rd floor. The results are beautiful and full of meaning.
Stay tuned to see examples of Kindergarten pottery inspired by pottery from Morocco!