Inspiration for this Folk Art Holiday Tree of Life comes from the paper cutouts collected by Bureau of Indian Affairs teacher Mable Morrow during her work with the Flandreau Santee Sioux tribe of South Dakota (1923-1937), and housed at the Museum of International Folk Art. Pictured alongside the Tree are examples of two paper cuts in the museum's collection.
The Native Americans of New England and the upper Midwest were making cutout silhouettes from birch bark before the first European settlers made contact with them. Cutouts served as patterns for beadwork, quillwork, and other ornaments to be applied to clothing, canoes, tools and toys. Through trade with Europeans, these tribes obtained scissors, and their cutouts became more complex. Birch bark gave way to paper and cutouts began to be viewed not just as patterns, but as art.
This 2-piece flat pack Holiday Tree of Life is made of plywood and unpainted. Enjoy it as is or paint your own version with a group of friends.
Instructions included, but please note, for best results, we recommend you remove the tree cut out and paint it before assembling it, and because this tree is made of two interlocking pieces we suggest you assemble it and pencil in your design before, before taking it apart, and painting the pieces flat.
Approximate dimensions of the Folk Art Holiday Tree of Life: 15 1/2" high x 10 1/2" wide
Pictured to the left is the source of inspiration for this Holiday Tree of Life: