About Southwestern sand art

In SI, CE1 students have been learning about Martha Washington, the first lady of the US. They learned about timelines and completed a timeline about Martha Washington.
CE2 students have been studying about Southwestern sand art. This sand art is mostly done by the Navajo Native American tribe that live in the Southwestern region. The Medicine Man of the tribe is the sand painter. Sometimes these designs are done on the floor where ceremonies take place. Sometimes they are on deerskin or cloth. The Medicine Man creates these paintings by letting the sand flow through his fingers. Sandpaintings are treated with great respect in the Navajo culture. The different colors used in the paintings come from different colors of natural sand. Other colors come from ochre, gypsum (a mineral), sandstone, charcoal, cornmeal, flower pollen, vegetable roots, and tree bark. After the sandpainting is completed, the patient sits on it as the Medicine Man says a chant. As the patient sits, he is able to absorb the spiritual powers. The pattern and symmetry of the painting symbolize harmony that is brought to the patient. In sand art, certain colors symbolize certain meanings. CE2 students chose a Navajo symbol and used colored sand to create their own sand art. Then they described their artwork and why they chose those colors.

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