This post is part of the Native American Heritage Month Blog Hop & Giveaway (see details below!)
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Growing up in North Carolina, it was common to meet people – black and white – who had Cherokee ancestry. Most, like me, were far removed from that distant Cherokee relative (in my case, a great-great-great-grandmother) and retained nothing of the cultural and very little of the physical heritage.
So when Native American Heritage Month approached this year, I decided it was a good opportunity to explore our Cherokee roots with my sons.
I found a fun rattle craft in The Cherokee (American Indian Art and Culture) by Rennay Craats. Unlike many of the other non-fiction books I found on the Cherokee, this book includes a focus on present-day culture and includes a few activities and crafts.
As we learned in the book, music and chanting are central to Cherokee ceremonies. My Monkeys love music and dancing, and while most is not of the “sacred” type, I knew this would be a craft they would really appreciate.
The book calls for using string and pencils, but I wanted to use up some of the supplies I had left over from their volcano birthday party, plus I thought the plastic spoons would really make some noisy fun. Adding the “handle” was Monkey’s idea. In the original craft, kids decorate the pencils, but when I suggested to my kids that they decorate the spoons, Monkey was not enthusiastic. He spied some empty toilet rolls in my craft closet (always good to have a few on hand!) and really just wanted to paint one of those.
So we made them into handles for the rattle! If you are doing this with a group of children and want to save a little time, you can always skip this step and just tie the ribbons into a knot. The kids can hold onto the ends as they shake their rattles.
Make Your Own Cherokee Rattle
You will need:
Ribbon or string
Plastic spoons (5-6 per rattle)
Toilet paper roll
Have your child decorate the toilet paper roll with paint and/or stickers, in a design of their choosing.
Once the paint has dried, make a small hole in the side of the roll. Cut 5-6 lengths of ribbon or string. Make them slightly different lengths, so the spoons will really rattle against one another.
Poke the ribbons through the hole and tie them in a knot, so that the end of the knot rests against the inside of the roll.
Tie one spoon around the opposite end of each ribbon. I found it easier to secure these also with a bit of tape, as otherwise they may slip off with some enthusiastic shakes.
Have fun making music with your rattle!
Multicultural Kid Blogs is proud to host the first annual Native American Heritage Month Blog Hop & Giveaway! Link up your posts on Native American cultures below, and be sure to enter to win one of our great prize packages!
For more great posts about Native cultures, be sure to follow our Native/Indigenous Cultures board on Pinterest!
1st Prize Package
US shipping only
From Wisdom Tales:
Children of the Tipi: Life in the Buffalo Days, edited by Michael O. Fitzgerald
The Otter, the Spotted Frog & the Great Flood: A Creek Indian Story, retold by Gerald Hausman
2nd Prize Package
From Lee & Low Books:
Giving Thanks: A Native American Morning Message, by Chief Jake Swamp
Buffalo Song by Joseph Bruchac
Jim Thorpe’s Bright Path, by Joseph Bruchac
Postcard set from Paper Papel Papier: pack of 12 craft postcards decorated with the word himdag (value $18). Himdag is from the O’odham ñiok language of the Tohono O’odham Nation in Arizona and northwest Mexico. To embrace Himdag is to walk in balance, alone, with others, with nature, and with the Creator.
Native American Cultures Linkup
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