We had our second girls' club. I decided last time to cover the American Girls in chronological order. So that meant we talked about Kaya today. I don't have any Kaya books, so I checked her out at the American Girl website. She's a pre-America American Girl at 1764 and is Nez Perce (I chose to say "nay persay"). First we attended to some club business and picked a secret password (I know what it is and you don't, nah nah nah-nah nah). Then we discussed that Kaya was actually an American Girl by virtue of living in what became America instead of being born into or moving to the country America.
We discussed the origin (as I know it, I didn't bother researching) of the term Native American (a lot of people still use Indian or American Indian, so I thought it could serve a purpose). What I said (which only gibes with what I think I know and I'm not really vouching for) is that Columbus was trying to sail to India, and when he found land, he thought he was in India and called the natives Indians. Later on it became a bit confusing and people started to use the term American Indians to help differentiate between Native Americans and Indians in Asia. (Note how I totally skipped the term 'Red Indians'). Then I said that some people felt that American Indian still wasn't accurate, since it was based on a misnomer and that many people started using Native Americans. Of course I had to define what was meant by 'native.'
We talked about the Nez Perce tribe being a Northwest Tribe (I hope, I only checked on source and it wasn't particularly clear) that was very peaceful and loved learning. I also talked about the tribal nature of the natives and how each tribe could be very isolated from one another. We talked about what crops were cultivated, like corn, pumpkins, potatoes, strawberries, and cocoa. Everyone liked those foods! We picked names for ourselves like Pouncing Fox, Glittering Rain, and Dancing Swan (Hanover) which we used for the rest of the meeting. We talked about how things were decorated and how the decorations could be used to gain protection from the gods.
For activities, we went from talking about adorning homes to adorning themselves and made beaded necklaces. That craft took a while. Actually, most of the girls made bracelets, so some had time to make two bracelets. I did not bother keeping the beads at all related to the culture.
After the beading was finished, we had enough time for another craft. We used red construction paper rolled into cones and made teepees. I had actually rolled a teepee before hand and then cut the bottom so it would sit flat, and then unrolled it and traced the curved line onto other pieces of contruction paper. The girls then cut the construction paper on the line and rolled it into the cone and taped it in place. Most of the girls wanted to decorate their teepee while it was rolled up so they could make the designs even with the ground. They drew zigzags, circles, suns, moons, and stick-figure hunt scenes. After they were done decorating them, we cut two slots for the door flap (many girls decided to have a front and back door). While they were making their teepees we could talk about how the teepees would have fires in them in winter, or could be rolled up in summer to let the breeze flow through. We also talked about how teepees could have feathers attached to the top to show the importance of the person who owned it. Then the girls taped feathers to their own teepees.
At the end of the meeting we voted whether to move on to Felicity (colonial era) or stay with Kaya and they decided to continue with Kaya and do more Native American crafts. I think that means they enjoyed it!
On a more personal note, Flurpee did really well. She chose to stand off at the beginning and then joined in for the crafts and just enjoyed herself. So nice. Also, I've been lucky enough that my husband has been taking the FLM (Filthy Little Moose) during the meetings (completely accidental timing, really). That certainly helps things go well.