“Usko-Ayar Amazonian School Power Animal Pendants”
Rainforests are treasures troves of life, and home to some of the most biologically and culturally diverse landscapes on earth. The Amazon is the largest tropical rainforest and home of ten percent of the worlds known species. Andres will share some interesting facts and stories from his travels in the Peruvian and Ecuadorian Amazon, which will then be followed by two hands on crafts.
Choosing from a series of hand painted Amazon animals by students of the Usko-Ayar Amazonian School of Painting, Unifier kids will have the opportunity to create their own “Usko-Ayar Power-Animal Pendants” . The Usko-Ayar (Quecha term for “Spiritual Prince”) is more than an art school. It is an institution devoted to the rescue and preservation of the knowledge and the traditions of the indigenous people of the Peruvian Amazon. Their art is a documentation of the flora, fauna, and culture of the Amazon, and it promotes and preserves the traditional knowledge of medicinal and other plants of this region. Copied painting of animals (such as snake, jaguar, eagle, anteater, and others) will be available to paste onto cardboard circles and adorn them with feathers and beads. Explanations will be available to offer some insight into the power that each animal carries. The finished product is a co-creation between children of the Amazon and the kids in attendance at Unifier, and may serve as a tool to help the kids bond with and develop a deeper relationship with their “power-animal.”
Another craft option is the creation of “Talking Sticks.” Kids will learn about some of the functions of a talking stick in traditional cultures, and have a chance to create their own using sticks from the forest, adorned with yarn and feathers.
We will conclude our time with a guided drumming “imaginary journey” to a rainforest and share our experiences as we use our talking sticks.
Andres Doxer has worked in the field of education for over 15 years. During this time he has worked in a variety of educational institutions, with a wide range of ages, and on four separate continents. Andres has a passion for exploring various world cultures, and as a result a big part of his educational work has focused on cultural sharing and understanding. Among the more exciting work he has been involved with was working for Living Routes in Peru and Israel. Living Routes offers college students a chance to earn academic credits overseas while living in communities that are devoted to the principles of living and creating a socially just and sustainable world.