November has been a great month in art so far. We are weaving, weaving, weaving and doing more weaving. From paper to burlap to yarn and more, students have been engaged with this ancient technique of art making.
A God's eye is a yarn weaving and a spiritual object. The Ojo de Dios (Eye of God in Spanish) is woven with yarn and wood, often with several colors. The weaving of an Ojo de Dios is an ancient contemplative and spiritual practice for many indigenous peoples in the Americas, and beliefs surrounding them vary with location and history. Some people believe they were originally part of the sophisticated religion of the Ancient Pueblo Peoples.
In many of the Pueblos of New Mexico (U.S.) Ojos de Dios have traditionally been created for celebration or blessing, presented as a gift or designed to bless a home. Often they reflect a confidence in all-seeing Providence. The spiritual eye has the power to see and understand things unknown to the physical eye. During Spanish colonial times in New Mexico, from the 1500s to the 1800s, Ojos de Dios were placed where people worked, or where they walked along a trail (Mager, 2012).
Traditional Ojos de Dios are frequently woven in solitude, as part of an extended meditation or prayer. In other settings, their construction is one aspect of longstanding communal engagement and connection. For centuries, young people in the mountains of New Mexico have made Ojos de Dios in learning circles (wisdom circles) with their elders. In other parts of the 'New World' they were used as ritual objects or for rites of passage. Today, artisans weave complicated or variegated versions of the traditional Ojo de Dios, selling them as decorations or religious objects. There has also been a huge increase in the use of Ojos de Dios as an easy and fun craft for children, but with the meditative and collaborative aspects removed.
The Ojo de Dios or God's eye is a ritual tool, magical object, and cultural symbol evoking the weaving motif and its spiritual associations for the Huichol peoples of western Mexico. The God's Eye is symbolic of the power of seeing and understanding that which is unknown and unknowable, The Mystery. The four points represent the elemental processes: earth, fire, air, and water. The Huichol call their God's eyes Sikuli, which means "the power to see and understand things unknown." When a child is born, the central eye is woven by the father, then one eye is added for every year of the child's life until the child reaches the age of five. Original Huichol Crosses are extremely rare to come by. There are many that are being made for the tourist market, but they do not carry the same traditional and spiritual significance.
Some Tips for Weaving Sucsess:
3rd graders made these awesome zentangles on clear plastic sheets with sharpies for display on the office windows. Aren't they cool?
We are clearing out the clay projects this week and having show and tell to share what we created. Next week we start our unit on weaving!
Happy Halloween from the art room!.
A mind jar is a meditation tool. Imagine the glitter as your thoughts. When you shake the jar, your thoughts swirl and whirl. Watch the glitter settle as your mind calms down.
To make your own:
Jar with sealing lid, glitter, glitter glue, food coloring, sparkles, water.