Identify three arts and crafts from Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara tribes.
Discuss the importance of flint in the geography and economy of the Hidatsa during the Knife River village days, what flint was used for and identify what has replaced flint today.
Describe other locations throughout the United States where Knife River flint has been found.
The Arts, Crafts, Clothing and Appearance Unit is divided into four units and incorporates reading, discussion and hands on activities for students to explore Hidatsa culture.
Lesson 1 focusses on flint potteryand painting. Students will read and discuss flint and pottery and practice telling stories using symbols through a hide painting activity.
Student background information
Native American Symbols
This is the background information to support the painting activity. Download
Ask students what kind of things do you like to make? What kind of hobbies do you have? Tell students that today they will begin learning about some arts and crafts of the Hidatsa People.
Ask for student volunteers to read the student background materials outloud as others listen.
Instruct students to answer the following question in their journals.
What is the importance of flint in the geography and economy of the Hidatsa during the Knife River village days? What was flint used for? What has replaced flint in this function and how is it made today?
Instruct the students to imagine how people would describe how you live and what you do one hundred years from now. Look around you in the present time and choose one category and describe it in as much detail as you can. Categories include: Clothing (styles, fabric, decorations); singing, dancing, art (sculpture, painting, china, pottery, etc); containers (that hold a variety of items, i.e. DVD holder etc.) Hairstyles; tattooing, other.
You may use one or a variety of methods to describe: writing; speaking; drawing; pictures; collages; recordings; videos; dance demonstrations; show and tell.
Have students work with a partner to pair and share their description.
Ask for student volunteers to share their description with the entire class.
Students presentations will reflect thoughtfulness and attention to details.
Student buffalo hides designs will demonstrate understanding of the concept of telling stories with pictures.
Like other American Indian groups the Hidatsas and Mandans made tools, housewares,clothing, toys, and musical instruments from things that were available nearby, or sometimes farther off if the material was important in the production of the item. Preserving the arts and crafts ofthe Hidatsa and Mandans provides a tangible means of connecting the past, present and future of the people for generations to come.
Take a close look at the buffalo robes at Knife River. What kind of designs to the robes have? What types of materials were used to make the designs?
Design a buffalo robe that tells a story using only symbols. Be prepared to explain your design.
You may use a digital drawing program if you have and iPad such as colored pencil or chalk to design your buffalo robe.
Search the Internet for Native American Symbols for students to use as they tell their stories through hide painting.