Totem Miniatures




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By Robert De Groat

Get an old wooden window shade roller and cut a section from the hollow part about 8 inches long and plug up the bottom.

With a very sharp knife carve the figures to your liking.  Fashion the top head separately to fit in the top.  In all faces, where possible, cut the mouth through to give a gaping effect.  The more hideous the face the better.

Sandpaper and mount on a piece of two-by-four. Next shellac.  In painting, use any kind of paint, but use bright and many different colors.  Taint the base black.  Use colored sets for eyes, where possible (Certain kinds of buttons make good eyes; some small shells can be effectively used).

More substantial miniature totems can be made from solid pieces of fine and other easily carved wood, and more ingenuity is possible because of the greater depth of the wood.  The shade roller is not much more than a shell, and deep cutting is impossible.  After you have acquired skill at fashioning small totems out of sections of discarded rolls, you will be ready to tackle smoothly something a little bigger and, perhaps harder to carve.

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Scout Staves: 
A fascinating handicraft is the making of individual Scout Staves by the boys of a Patrol, or the whole Troop.  The use of different colored ribbons or woolen yarn adds an attractive touch.


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Totem Poles






Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
Materials&Tools ] Totem Pole Design ] Totem Pole Stories ] Camp Uses ] Authentic Totems ] Patrol Totems ] Use of Color ] Totem Gifts ] Totem Paper Knives ] [ Totem Miniatures ] Totem Museum ] Totem Contest ] Preserving Totems ] A Totem Talks ] Bibliography ]

Parent- Level Topic Links:
Native Skills ] Totem Poles ] Indian Sign Language ] Indian Ceremonies ] Indian Dance ] Indian Songs ] Birch Bark Dances ] Birch Bark Songs ] Birch Bark Plays ] Indian Games for Boys ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.