Week 3: Yucca paint brushes

Today was an energetic day at Hawk Circle!

The girls were bursting with excitement, so we played a long game of Raccoon Steals Doughnut. The girls were very sneaky and giggly, which was a difficult combination in this game of stealth.

We followed the game with Thanksgiving and also shared some fun facts about ourselves so that our guest, Andrew, could get to know the group a little bit better. We were all impressed that he learned everyone’s name in just one go-around!

Finally, we hit the trail. We headed back to the yucca grove we found last week, and harvested some yucca. The girls got out their cud-chewing skills and started fraying the ends of their yucca. Some enjoyed the green taste of the yucca, while others were a bit grossed out!

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There were many strategies discovered as we chewed our yucca. Many used their back teeth to grind the fibers. Front teeth were used to scrape off some of the plant matter to reveal the more fibrous parts inside.

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By the end of the day, each girl had made at least 2 paint brushes of different sizes and shapes. Some made even more by creating brushes on both ends of their yucca!

Rivi showed us a way to use rocks to scrape the yucca to reveal the fibers. This was the preferred method for the girls that didn’t like the taste of the plant.

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On our way back, we ran into a woman and her two kids. She said she’d heard on the trail from passing hikers that there were some people making yucca brushes. How exciting that our activities were drawing so much attention!

Next week, we will continue with primitive paint-making by grinding our pigments. We have collected many plants and rocks that we will grind into fine powder. Then, we will add water and prickly pear mucilage to create paints.

Ask your girls: what story do they want to share with the world? Is there a message they want to leave with their primitive paints?

See you next Monday!

Arielle, Rivi and Andrew

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