SchoolArts Magazine

AUG-SEP 2013

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Elementary Studio Lesson Time! BaTiki Matt Mazur O ne of the things I love about Montessori education is the emphasis placed on exploring culture and geography. Art is the perfect avenue for exploring the history of a culture in an in-depth and hands-on way. Tiki sculptures are a fun way to introduce classes to the diverse and interesting world of Polynesian art and culture. I have found that students can readily identify the style of Tiki masks but know little about where they come from and what they are used for. Tiki Culture Tiki sculptures generally come from islands in the South Pacific, mainly New Zealand, the Solomon Islands, New Guinea, and the Hawaiian Islands. Tiki statues and masks were thought to be the heads of special gods and ancient ancestors and were erected to protect people from disasters such as typhoons, droughts, disease, and volcanoes. The smaller icons were worn as personal protectors and good luck charms. After examining where Tikis originated on a map, we looked at different examples of Tikis, from masks, vessels, and totem figures, to petroglyphs and paintings. We discussed how island people can be somewhat isolated, so the different islands would have slightly different styles and designs. I gave students a handout with a variety of Tikis to use as inspiration. Miadora. schoolartsonline.com 19

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