During the month of October, Alison Gear and I spent one full day at each of the six elementary schools of Haida Gwaii for the Taan's Moons project. We brought lots of different activities to the classrooms to make the children familiar with different elements of the Taan's Moons story. It is a story of the traditional Haida way of telling time, told through the eyes of a bear.
The students also created many different felted elements, such as berries, roots, seaweed, branches and felted squares to be used in the large felted moons we will create during our next sessions at the schools in November (stay tuned for another post).
Alison created flash cards and a memory game to introduce the Haida names of the moons (months):
|'Cedar Bark Weaving Moon' - September|
|Goose Moon (February), Raw Berry Moon (June), Bear Moon (January), etc.|
We 'warm up our imagination' by literally moving through the months and the story:
|Flying like a hummingbird for Raw Berry Moon|
|Autumn winds shaking Cedar trees for Cedar Bark Weaving Moon|
Introduction to different types of sheep and samples of the different kinds of wool:
A felt board story of Taan's Moons created by Alison:
Tyler Crosby and four students from the Haida youth dance group taught bear, eagle and raven songs, dances and let the children drum:
|Noisy Goose Moon|
Making felted roots, branches and seaweed:
|rich harvest of felt seagrass and seaweed|
Making felt squares with designs of bear prints in the snow, blossoms, crab and salmon:
|"And then I saw this bear, and he stood up on his back legs like this"|
End of the day 'Show and Tell' of a intertidal felt piece that I created for Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve (thank you for letting us use it with the children!):
This artist residency is partially funded by an Artists in the Classroom grant, disbursed by ArtStarts in Schools. It is supported by School District 50 and Literacy Haida Gwaii
Photography by Jason Shafto. Please do not use photos without permission of the artist.