Native American Crafting & Math w Mobile Technologies

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Presentation for Go West! Summer Teacher Training.

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  • I'm here today to share with you my current research that merges successful and proven methods that have been shown to enhance conceptual (STEM) learning among underrepresented minorities (URMs) by employing constructionist approaches to digital media, to help bridge the gap among these learners.
  • Go West!, an upcoming show that will be here at the High Museum of Art, will feature major works of art and important artifacts including paintings, drawings, sculpture, photographs, frontier firearms and objects from Native American cultures that showcase the exploration and settlement of the American West. The show will highlight objects for work, play and war crafted by members of Plains tribes, including a deer hide and porcupine quill war bonnet, a toy cradle and exquisitely beaded deer hide moccasins.Left: Lakota Fringe Dress: http://www.bradfordbrintonmemorial.com/ images/Lacota.jpgTop right: Native American Art and History of the Minnesota Region: http://www.artsconnected.org/collection/111687/native-american-art-and-history-of-the-minnesota-region?print=trueBottom right: Masterwork #69 (3 of 3), Sioux/Northern Plains, Toy Cradle Board,  12.375" x 3.75. Courtesy Cheekwood Art and Gardens: http://www.cheekwood.org/Contribute/American_West/View_Artwork.aspx
  • Native Americans decorated most of their crafts to make them more beautiful. They added color and designs with paint, beads, quill embroidery, and by carving and weaving. Some also painted with sand. Sometimes a design or color was a symbol, that is, it stood for an idea or told a story. For example, among the Crow, the color black was a symbol for victory; arrow symbols might mean a hunt or a battle.
  • Native American bead work isa great source of mathematics. This workshop will provide you with some cultural background on Native American beadwork, and the mathematical concepts it embodies. Like many Native American designs, beadworkis based on four-fold symmetry. Four-fold symmetry is a deep design theme that is used as an organizing principle for religion, society, and native technology.Images courtesy ofRensselaer Polytechnic Institute: http://csdt.rpi.edu/na/loom/loom_symm1.html
  • Here are two examples of contemporary Native American or Indigenous artists who make use of QR codes in their traditional designs. Does anyone here know what a QR code is? By using existing technologies, such as the bead loom, the square glass bead or pixel to make the QR Codes, and web-based digital video the artists can create innovative textiles. Can you see the four-fold symmetry in the Navajo EyeDazzler on the left? Left: eyeDazzler by Will Wilson. Courtesy: http://pomonavajo.blogspot.com/2012/09/eyedazzler-2011.htmlRight: CodedStoriesbyGuillermo Bert: http://codedstories.com/
  • Like many Native American knowledge systems, the bead loom is much like the Cartesian coordinate system in math. Beads are in rows and columns, based on the X axis and the Y axis.Images courtesy ofRensselaer Polytechnic Institute: http://csdt.rpi.edu/na/loom/loom_symm1.html
  • Here, on the left, I used a paper grid to create a design for a bead loom project (show loom). I added a QR code in the center. Images courtesy ofNettrice Gaskins
  • Here are the steps you have to use to decode the QR code using a mobile device like a smartphone or iPad. Image courtesy ofNettrice Gaskins
  • Here are a few examples of traditional Native American symbols used in bead loom designs. You may use any of these or create a design based on your own symbols. Make sure to use four-fold symmetry in your design. Practice sketching your design first. Then use your grid to count the rows and fill in the squares.Native American Beadwork Patterns: http://nebraskahistory.org/museum/teachers/material/trail/indians/beadwork.htm
  • I'm here today to share with you my current research that merges successful and proven methods that have been shown to enhance conceptual (STEM) learning among underrepresented minorities (URMs) by employing constructionist approaches to digital media, to help bridge the gap among these learners.
  • Native American Crafting & Math w Mobile Technologies

    1. 1. Native American Crafting & Mathwith Mobile TechnologiesNettrice R. Gaskins, Digital Media Ph.D. CandidateSchool of Literature, Media & Communication, Georgia Tech
    2. 2. Relevant Links:Crafting with Mobile Technologies (blog):http://netarthud.wordpress.com/2013/05/25/crafting_mobile_technologiesCulturally Situated Design Tools/Virtual Bead Loom:http://csdt.rpi.edu/na/loom/index.htmlCoded Stories (video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=vL-xkcRzJK8Encoded Textiles: http://www.gbert.com/encodedtextiles.htmlNative American Designs and Colors:http://nevadaculture.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1102&Itemid=27Native American Beadwork Patterns:http://nebraskahistory.org/museum/teachers/material/trail/indians/beadwork.htm

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