Monthly Archives: October 2015

El Dia de los Muertos+ A Banner Design

El Dia de los Muertos+ A Banner Design

El Dia de los Muertos Banner

                                                                El Dia de los Muertos Banner

 

The Day of the Dead celebration is a mixture of Catholic and pre-historic Hispanic beliefs about death. The Spanish conquistadors brought their religious faith to the Americas but their beliefs dated back to the early Christians’ adoption of the customs of the ancient Egyptians and Romans.

Over time, October 31st evolved into All Hollows Eve when the spirits of dead children came to visit. November 1st became All Hallows or All Saints Day, a day to pray for the innocent souls of the saints and martyrs and November 2nd became All Souls Day, a day to remember the spirits of sinners who had died.

Today, the Day of the Dead celebration is a family commemoration reuniting the living with their dead relatives. Each family and community has its own way of celebrating but several communities throughout Mexico observe many of the same customs.

October 31st is a day of preparations for the celebration. Families shop at the local market for supplies of food and items like copal (a resin-based incense), marigolds, candles and calaveras de dulce (sugar skulls).

Back home, children make an altar decorated with small baskets of nuts, hot chocolate in small cups, sugar skulls, flowers, fruit, and toys. They light incense and small candles that will light the way for the angelitos (little angels) to come to earth.

November 1st, families eat an early breakfast of pan de muertos (bread of the dead), hot chocolate, atole, and tlalludas (chicken broth served with large tortillas). Afterwards, the family does the necessary chores to prepare their house for visitors.

The women of the house make tamales de mole (mole sauce and chicken folded inside a tortilla which is then wrapped in corn husks and tied with string) which they steam in a large pot. Another family member makes a second trip to the market to buy sugar canes and more marigolds.

The family builds a larger altar on a table decorated with a colorful cloth, a crucifix, pan de muertos, fruit, flowers, cups of chocolate and atole, a small offering of cooked tamales, and the special things the deceased enjoyed during their life on earth. They light a bowl of lamp oil and a candle for each dead relative which they place in front of their photos.

The sound of fireworks and the ringing of church bells announce that the spirits of the dead are on their way to earh. The bells ring without stopping for twenty-four hours, rung by teams of young men.

Families wear their best clothes and visit through the entire day and night and into the next day, bringing empty baskets which they fill with items from the altars of the homes they visit. Host families visit friends and family, too.

On November 2nd, families visit the cemetery, cleaning and decorating the graves and tombs with flowers. They bring picnic food which is an offering to the dead. The families believe that the dead do not actually eat the food but “inhale” it.

The bells stop ringing at 3 p.m. signaling that the dead are departing. Celebrants eat, sing, laugh, visit with their neighbors, and children play. When night falls, candles are lit on the tombs and graves.

Families exit the cemetery, too, until they begin next year’s celebrations all over again.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Ancona, George. Pablo Remembers the Fiesta of the Day of the Dead. Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books: New York, 1993

Coleman, Miriam. The Culture and Crafts of Mexico. New York: PowerKids Press, 2016.

Krull, Kathleen. Maria Molina and the Days of the Dead. MacMillan Publishing Company: New York, 1994.

 

El Dia de los Muertos Banner Design

Materials:

Felt in various colors

Puffy paint in bright and metallic colors

Pencil/eraser

Scissors

Glitter glue (optional)

Hole punch

Paper in various colors (optional)

Scraps of material (optional)

Decorative gems (optional)

String

Cardboard

White glue

Project:               

  1. Select a piece of felt for the background of the banner. Decide if you want to hang the banner vertically or horizontally.
  2. Using different colors of the felt and using the letter stencils, trace and cut three E; one A; two L; one D; one I; two O; two S; one T; one U; and one R.
  3. Arrange the letters on the felt background. Glue. Allow to dry.
  4. Some objects associated with the Day of the Dead are skeletons, marigolds and skulls. Draw and cut flowers, skulls and skeletons out of the remaining felt or use paper or another material. Glue and let dry.
  5. Add sequins, glitter, beads, etc. to the overall design or add starbursts, the sun or other symbols proper to the holiday. Let dry.
  6. Punch holes in the top corners of the felt. Pass a piece of string longer than the length of the banner through one hole, tie a knot and then pass it through the second hole. Glue a strip of cardboard that fits between the holes and glue it to the back of the banner at the top. Let dry and hang up. Celebrate El Dia de los Muertos!

 

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Revolutionary Women As Second Class Citizens: Annis Boudinot Stockton

Revolutionary Women As Second Class Citizens: Annis Boudinot Stockton
Annis Boudinot Stockton

Annis Boudinot Stockton

Annis Boudinot Stockton was born in Darby, Pennsylvania between 1733 and  1736 to a wealthy family, descendants of French Huguenots who came to America in 1685 after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. She was the first in her family born in North America. The family later moved to the Princeton area of New Jersey where she learned to read and write unlike many women of her generation and interacted with the intellectuals of the town.

She married Richard Stockton in 1757 and they lived in Morven, the Stockton estate. As a mother of six children, she became an advocate for education after she read “A Vindication of the Rights of Women” by Mary Wollstonecraft (1792).

Richard Stockton was a lawyer and a representative for the College of New Jersey and the American colonies. In June 1776 he sided with the patriots who elected him to the First Continental Congress. He was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

During the Revolutionary War, British General Cornwallis marched through New Jersey. Annis and her family left their home in Princeton and found refuge in the home of friends in Monmouth County. The British army set up headquarters at Morven, burning the Stockton library and furniture and trashing the estate but they soon found Annis and her family and imprisoned Richard.  His imprisonment left him weak and sick. Annis nursed him until his death in February 1781.

Annis B. Stockton was primarily a poet. Her poems celebrated the Battle of Bunker Hill, the fall of General Richard Montgomery at Quebec and the “deeds” of George Washington. Washington was effusive in his gratitude of her praise. She also wrote about other events during the Revolution, Congress, marriage, and friendship. She wrote her poems in a neoclassical style and compiled into a copybook.

 

ADDITIONAL BIBLIOGRAPHY:

http://www.jerseyhistory.org/findingaid.php?aid=1221

Diamant, Lincoln, editor. Revolutionary Women in the War for American Independence, A One Volume Revised Edition of Elizabeth Ellet’s 1848 Landmark Series. Westport Connecticut: Praeger Publishers, 1998.

Greenberg, Judith E. and McKeever, Helen Cary. Journal of a Revolutionary War Woman. New York: Franklin Watts, 1996.

Micklos, John. The Brave Women and Children of the American Revolution. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, Inc, 2009

Freeman, Land M., North, Louise V and Wedge, Janet M. In the Words of Women: the Revolutionary War and the Birth of the Nation, 1765-1799. Landam, Md: Lexington Books, 2011.

Redmond, Shirley Raye. Patriots in Petticoats, Heroines of the American Revolution.New York: Random House, 2004

 

MATERIALS:

2 sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 inch white paper like bond paper or drawing paper

1 sheet of 8 ½ x 11 inch construction paper any color but preferably a light color

Black felt-tip marker

Pencil/eraser

Ruler

PROJECT:

  • Fold the sheets of white drawing or bond paper in half along the width.
  • Fold the construction paper in half along the width. This will be the cover of the book.
  • Open up all the folded pages. Place the cover sheet face down and draw a thin line of glue along the center fold.
  • Place one of the white sheets over the cover sheet aligning the center folds and press. Do the same for this sheet and draw a thin line of glue along its center fold.
  • Place the second sheet of drawing or bond paper on top of the first one. Align the center folds and press. Allow the glue to dry
  • Fold the papers so that the book now measures 5 ½ x 18 ½ inches. Place the cover on the outside. Cut and paste the clip art sites listed below into your browser to help you design the cover and the inside pages. Like Mercy Otis Warren and other colonial women, write in your diary every day recording the important and everyday events of your life.
  • (Optional) Free Clip Art:
VARIATION: Use the previous colonial crafts projects to enhance your country diary. Decorate the cover with a quill paper design and try writing in it with the homemade pen and ink.
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Revolutionary Women As Second Class Citizens: Mary Katherine Goddard

Revolutionary Women As Second Class Citizens: Mary Katherine Goddard
Mary Katherine Goddard

Mary Katherine Goddard

Mary Katherine Goddard was born in New London, Connecticut in 1783. She and her widowed mother moved to Providence Rhode Island where her brother William operated printing business. They helped him in his business but after her brother moved to Philadelphia, they wrote and edited the Providence Gazette and later West’s Almanack.

In 1768, they joined William in Philadelphia and Mary Katherine, her mother and William printed the Pennsylvania Chronicle until August 1773 when William moved to Baltimore.  Mary Katherine sold the Philadelphia business and true to form, followed him to Baltimore. She became the sole proprietor of the Maryland Journal and Baltimore Advertiser.

During the American Revolution, the Maryland Journal was one of the most circulated in the colonies. To keep the paper financially afloat, Mary Kate offered bookbinding services and sold stationery and dry goods. Later, she accepted payment in kind when subscribers could no longer afford to buy the paper.

She was one of the first to write about the Battle of Lexington and Concord realizing that it was important to get the news out quickly. Relying on eyewitness accounts, letters and the news from other towns, she printed and sold the paper on the same day she received the information.

On July 4, 1776, fifty-six men met in Philadelphia to sign the Declaration of Independence. By August of that year all the patriot leaders had signed the document but no printer had the courage to print it. It was an act of treason and King George would hang anyone guilty of treason.

In December of 1776, the British marched into Philadelphia forcing the patriot leaders to flee south to Baltimore, Maryland. They carried with them a handful of written copies of the Declaration of Independence and they needed a printer.

Mary Katherine agreed to print it and proudly printed her name at the bottom of the document. She also paid the post riders to deliver it to the rest of the colonies.

Her accomplishments didn’t stop there. In August 1775, Mary Katherine became the first woman in America to hold the office of Postmistress of Baltimore and on January 18, 1777, Congress authorized her to print the first official issue of the Declaration of Independence. She died August 12, 1816.

 

Additional Bibliography:

www.britannica.com/biography/Mary-Katherine-Goddard

Diamant, Lincoln, editor. Revolutionary Women in the War for American Independence, A One Volume Revised Edition of Elizabeth Ellet’s 1848 Landmark Series. Westport Connecticut: Praeger Publishers, 1998.

Greenberg, Judith E. and McKeever, Helen Cary. Journal of a Revolutionary War Woman. New York: Franklin Watts, 1996.

Micklos, John. The Brave Women and Children of the American Revolution. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, Inc, 2009

Freeman, Land M., North, Louise V and Wedge, Janet M. In the Words of Women: the Revolutionary War and the Birth of the Nation, 1765-1799. Landam, Md: Lexington Books, 2011.

Redmond, Shirley Raye. Patriots in Petticoats, Heroines of the American Revolution, New York: Random House, 2004

 

 

MATERIALS FOR THE PEN:

Feather

Scissors or utility knife

Fine sand paper

 

PROJECT:

  1. Cut the tip of the feather with scissors or a utility knife (if using the knife, ask an adult to help you). Make sure the cut is clean. If it isn’t, work the tip back and forth on the sand paper.
  2. Remove the feathers. Now make the ink.

 

MATERIALS FOR THE INK:

Black, brown or blue gouache paint

Distilled water

Small glass jar

Popsicle stick

Bond paper

 

          PROJECT:

  1. Squeeze a small amount of paint in the bottom of the jar.
  2. Add a small amount of water and mix using the popsicle stick. Make sure the ink is the consistency of pancake batter.
  3. Dip the quill pen into the ink and begin writing! Use the quill and ink to write in your diary.

 

 

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Revolutionary Women As Second Class Citizens: Judith Sargent Stevens Murray

Revolutionary Women As Second Class Citizens: Judith Sargent Stevens Murray
Judith Sargent Stevens Murray

Judith Sargent Stevens Murray

Judith Sargent Stevens Murray born into a wealthy Congregationalist home. At the age of 18, she married John Stevens, the son of a prominent Gloucester, Massachusetts family. When Judith’s father, Winthrop Sargent, read Union or A treatise of the Consanguinity of Affinity Between Christ and His Church by James Relly, he and his family began to embrace the new theology Relly proposed.

In 1774, the English Universalist preacher, John Murray, was lecturing in Boston and Judith’s father invited him to their home. John Murray and Judith met for the first time and began a correspondence discussing theology and later, the revolt of the colonies against the British. John Murray, accused of being a spy, accepted a job as army chaplain to avoid expulsion from the colonies. In the meantime, the Congregationalist church suspended Judith, her father and several other members. The following year, these Gloucester Universalists signed Articles of Association and formed the Independent Church of Christ. In 1780, John Murray became their first pastor.

Judith embraced her new religion and became a religious educator for the Universalist children of Gloucester. She and her husband adopted his two nieces and a cousin. She compiled and published the first Universalist catechism written by a woman. In it, she declared that men and women are equal, a central belief of the Universalist church.

In 1786, John Stevens escaped to the West Indies to escape creditors and died. Judith married John Murray in  1788.

Judith began writing poetry under the name “Constantia” She wrote essays on politics, manners, women’s role in society and religion for the periodicals of the day. She published under assumed names because she believed her writings would be taken seriously if the public didn’t know the writer was a woman.

Gentleman and Lady’s Town and Country Magazine published her essay, “Desultory Thoughts Upon the Utility Encouraging a Degree of Self-Complacency, Especially in Female Bosoms” in 1784. In 1792, she began to write a column in Massachusetts Magazine and chose the pen name Mr. Gleaner. She also began another column for the same magazine as Constantia. For Thomas Paine’s The Federal Orrery, she wrote a series of five articles for the The Reaper column.  Paine edited and rewrote some of her material and she vowed to never write another column again. The themes of her writings included Universalism and the political and social issues of the day. She also wrote plays and continued to write poetry published in the Boston Weekly Magazine writing as Honoria Martesia.

In the colonies, tutors or their mothers instructed women from wealthy families. A small minority attended the few schools in existence which were private schools for the wealthy. As early as 1784, Murray publicly urged that girls get an education.

In a 1790 essay, “On the Equality of the Sexes,” she asserted that men and women were equally capable of acquiring knowledge but differences in their education “resulted in inadequate instruction of women.” Murray felt she received an inferior education compared to her brother and learned on her own by reading. This experience taught her that women and men should have the same access to educational opportunities.

Murray’s legacy as a writer and educator continues to this day, In 1974, Alice Rossi included “On the Equality of the Sexes,” in The Feminist Papers ensuring Judith Sargent Stevens Murray’s place in women’s history.

Additional Bibliography:

Smith, Bonnie Hurd, Mingling Souls Upon Paper: An Eighteenth-century Love Story) Hurd Smith Communications, 2008.

Diamant, Lincoln, editor. Revolutionary Women in the War for American Independence, A One Volume Revised Edition of Elizabeth Ellet’s 1848 Landmark Series. Westport Connecticut: Praeger Publishers, 1998.

Greenberg, Judith E. and McKeever, Helen Cary. Journal of a Revolutionary War Woman. New York: Franklin Watts, 1996.

Micklos, John. The Brave Women and Children of the American Revolution. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, Inc, 2009

Freeman, Land M., North, Louise V and Wedge, Janet M. In the Words of Women: the Revolutionary War and the Birth of the Nation, 1765-1799. Landam, Md: Lexington Books, 2011.

Redmond, Shirley Raye. Patriots in Petticoats, Heroines of the American Revolution.New York: Random House, 2004

 

Quilling

American Colonial Crafts – Quilling with paper

 

MATERIALS:

Strips of quilling paper 1/8 inches to ½ inches in width

Scissors

Clear glue

Pencil or Q-tip

Colored paper or card stock

Light-weight paper in various colors (optional)

Ruler (optional)

 

PROJECT:

  1. Purchase quilling paper which comes in a variety of colors. Or using a ruler, measure and mark anywhere 1/8” to ½” at intervals along the length of the lightweight paper. Draw a long line along the marks. Cut and repeat the steps until you have enough strips for a design.
  2. Roll the end of the paper on to the end of a pencil or Q-tip. When you reach the end, loosen a little of the coil so you can easily roll it off the pencil. Add a little glue and finish rolling the coil to keep it from loosening.
  3. Roll the coils tightly and/or loosely depending on your design. Look at the sample above.
  4. Arrange the coils on the colored paper or card stock creating a design: flowers, butterflies, dragonflies, abstract designs. Quilled paper designs can also be framed (without glass) and hung in any room or classroom.
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Revolutionary Women As Second Class Citizens: Patience Lovel Wright

Revolutionary Women As Second Class Citizens: Patience Lovel Wright
Patience Lovel Wright

Patience Lovel Wright

Patience Lovel Wright was a successful painter, poet and sculptor. She was born on Long Island, NY in 1725. When she was four her family moved to Bordentown, New Jersey. She married an elderly Quaker farmer, Joseph Wright and bore him five children. After Joseph died, she supported her family working as a sculptor and moved to London to work on the bust of Benjamin Franklin. She became famous for her wax portrait busts of King George III, Queen Charlotte, the historian Catherine Macaulay, and other prominent people. She also created sculptures of Patriot sympathizers hiding the fact from her benefactor, King George.

Circulating among French and British high society, she was able to gather valuable information about British preparations for the war against the colonies. She didn’t hesitate to send that information to the American rebels often detailing it in her correspondence or hiding it inside her wax sculptures. After visiting John Adams in London, she fell and died a few days later.

Today the only existing example of her wax sculptures is the bust of William Pitt which stands in Westminster Abbey. Another miniature wax bust of an unidentifiable woman is in the Bordentown Historical Society’s collection.

Additional Bibliography:

www.bordentownhistory.org/Current_Exhibits/PatienceWright

 

Corn Husk Doll

CORN HUSK DOLL

MATERIALS:

Corn husks from one corn on the cob (summer is a great time to get corn husks for the price of corn on the cob or ask the grocer to set some aside for you). To make two dolls you will need the husks from two corns on the cob. Discard the corn silk.

Bowl of warm water

Scissors

Black felt-tip marker

String or garbage bag ties

Scraps of fabric and/or paper

Glue

Embellishments like sequins, etc.

 

PROJECT:

  1. Dry the corn husks (the outer leaves of the corn) overnight.
  2. Soak the corn husks in the bowl of warm water until they are soft to handle.
  3. Fold the corn husks from one corn on the cob in half and tie string near the fold. This will be the head of the doll.
  4. The husks are easy to split vertically. Shape the rest of the husks into legs by tying them at the bottom with string or garbage bag ties.
  5. Cut clothes out of the scraps of fabric or colorful paper. Add sequins and other embellishments to decorate the clothing.
  6. Use marker to make eyes, a nose and a mouth on the doll. 
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