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Chinook Indian Crafts

Nature provides the inspiration for Chinook Indian arts and crafts
i love salmon image by Chris Bibbo from Fotolia.com

The Chinook Indians are the original people of the Washington State area, located in the Pacific Northwest. The arts and crafts of the Chinook are demonstrated in stunning masks, dolls, pottery, paintings, wall hangings and clothing. Cultural lessons come alive when providing Chinook arts and crafts projects. Students need only a few simple, inexpensive materials.

Chinook Indian Flags

Enlarge copies of the Chinook salmon symbol and print them on card stock. Make templates of the fish body, mask and decorative areas. Students will each need a large piece of white paper, templates, red, black and white construction paper, scissors and a glue stick. Trace salmon parts onto the appropriate color of construction paper. Cut out the pieces. Glue the salmon pieces together on the white paper. Display the flags by hanging them up with tape or push pins.

Chinook Animal Bead Bracelets

The Chinook are known for using bright, primary colors in their arts and crafts. Students will love to make beaded animal bracelets they can wear for years to come. Each child will need an 8-inch length of elastic string, plastic fish or bear beads, and pony beads in choices of red, yellow, black, white, blue and green. Have each child choose three bead colors for his bracelet. String three pony beads, then one animal bead. Continue in this pattern until the beading is 5 to 7 inches long, depending on the size of the child's wrist. Tie the ends together, knotting them securely. Snip the leftover elastic thread.

Chinook Symbol Pots

Each student will need a Pacific Northwest symbols sheet (found in the "References" section), a plain clay flower pot, a white colored pencil, a paint brush, and red, black and white acrylic paint. Using the white pencil, have the students draw Chinook symbols on the clay pot. Paint in the symbols and allow the pots to dry. Take the pots outdoors and spray them with clear, acrylic sealer. Allow them to dry over night. These are great for gift-giving, and can be filled with dirt and planted with seeds or small plants.

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