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Carnival capes.

Capes are worn in carnival celebrations by many characters including the Charros from Tlaxcala, Mexico; Diablos in Oruro, Bolivia; Devil Bookmen in Trinidad and Tobago; and the Zulus from New Orleans. Kids love to make capes. Capes are colorful, expressive, and comfortable to wear. They encourage imaginative play and transform identities with a flourish. Materials are readily available from the simple to the elaborate and are inexpensive.

Motivation

Gather your students and discuss what capes are, how they are worn, and who wears them. If possible, share pictures from books, magazines, and newspapers. Have students identify the decorative elements of the capes as well as their shape and size. Explain what the materials are that students will be using to make their capes.

Some capes are worn as a vertically hanging rectangle and simply tied around the neck. Others are folded in half, poncho style, with an opening cut for the neck. Demonstrate decorative techniques such as layering the tulle over the main fabric to create a filmy effect and/or cutting fabric into different shapes to make patterns and designs. Have them share their ideas about what they want to make.

Making the Cape

1. Students select the basic cape material and decide how they will wear their capes. Have students arrange and/or cut their fabric accordingly.

2. Students select decorative elements and apply them.

3. Set aside to dry.

Lesson Finale

1. Host a cape fashion show where students wear their capes and explain who they are.

2. Organize a Carnival procession where students wear their capes with musical accompaniment.

3. Have students show other classes how to make capes and have an even larger procession.

Materials

* fabric cut into 22 x 36" (56 x 91.5 cm) rectangles (a yard of 45" fabric cut in half along the fold)

* glue (tacky glue is the best)

* glue brushes

* pom-poms

* ribbon

* lace

* chenille stems

* bells

* buttons

* netting or tulle cut to the same size as the fabric

* scissors

* staplers

* feathers

* sequins

NATIONAL STANDARD

Students intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas.

WEB LINK

www.carnavalexhibit.org

Aurelia Gomez is the Director of education at the Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico. aurelia. gomez@state.nm.us.
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Title Annotation:All Levels
Author:Gomez, Aurelia
Publication:School Arts
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2006
Words:386
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