Monday, April 2, 2012

The Elephant Festival; Jaipur City, India

The Festival of the Elephants

Recently, my 1st graders created elephants paintings influenced by the Elephant Festival celebrated in Jaipur City in Rajasthan, India. It is held on the day of the Holi festival, usually in the month of March. The festival features games such as elephant polo and traditionally has an elephant dance.
The Elephant Festival in Jaipur City, begins with a beautiful procession of bedecked elephants, camels, horses and folk dancers. The owners proudly embellish their elephants with vibrant colors, jhools (saddle cloth) and heavy jewellery. It is quite a treat to see the female elephants wearing anklets, which tinkle and jingle as they walk. One can see people sprinkling 'gulaal' (colored powder) perched on top of the elephant onto watchers as the procession proceeds. Afterwards, the most beautifully decorated elephant is honored with an award.

My 1st graders loved learning about the Elephant Festival and were inspired by photos and video clips of the decorated elephants during
the celebration.  They loved drawing their own ornate designs onto their elephants after taking time as a class to sketch the outline.  The main materials used for the project were crayons and black India ink (Mixture: India ink, water, soap).  With students finishing at different rates, the students who finished earlier then others were given the opportunity to add glitter and make ornate decorated boarder to frame their elephant painting.