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  Section title: Activities

Craft

Woven Bulrush Mat

The Mi'kmaq were skilled weavers. Many of the Mi'kmaqs' weaving patterns were very intricate. They wove mats from the leaves of bulrushes, which they used for the walls of their summer homes, as mats on the floors and to cushion the bottom of their canoes.

Bulrushes are found in wet ditches and marshes all over Canada. If you don't have bulrushes growing nearby or don't have permission to cut some, then you can try this craft using construction paper.

Materials

  • 24 to 40 bulrush leaves (depending on size of mat you wish to make)
  • scissors

Instructions

 
Materials needed for woven bulrush mat   Step 1. Cut 24 or more leaves to the same size, around 16 inches long. Lay out 14 leaves (more for larger mats) horizontally and parallel to each other.

 
Step 2. Take one leaf and position it at the middle point of the horizontal leaves. Weave the leaf in and out, over and under the horizontal leaves, keeping the horizontal leaves straight. At first the leaves will move quite a bit. As you weave the other leaves it will become easier.   Step 3. Continue to weave the other leaves on both sides of the middle leaf until your mat is the desired width. Make sure that the leaves stick out 2 inches on either side of the woven area.

 
Step 4. Fold over the end of every other leaf and tuck it under the two "over" folds, following the woven pattern. Trim any part of the tip that sticks out. Turn over the mat and do the same thing on the other side. (With construction paper, glue the strips at the edges and trim the excess.)   Completed bulrush mats

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