Native American Buffalo Robe

Great project to accompany American history curriculum and for introducing children to other cultures, lifestyles and artistic traditions of design and materials.

Level: All

Van Aken Product(s):
Jazz liquid tempera, Jr. Jazz 'truly washable', Jazz School



  • Jazz paint in assorted colors
  • large sheets of brown kraft paper or large kraft paper bags (cut down side & across bottom to use large interior area)
  • bucket of water
  • assorted paint brushes
  • paint trays
  • newspaper or large sheet(s) of butcher paper


  • cover work area with newspaper
  • tear (do not cut) the shape of a buffalo or cow hide from the brown kraft paper or bag
  • crumple paper well with hands
  • immerse 'hide' in bucket of water to which 1 cup of brown Jazz tempera paint has been added
  • knead 'hide' gently but firmly in water/paint solution
  • lay 'hide' out to dry on newspaper/butcher paper
  • paint symbols or designs onto 'hide' using various colors which may or may not relate a story or series of events and let dry

Handy hints:
Children may use either real Native American symbols or incorporate their own real-life symbols onto the 'hide' representing important events in their lives (i.e., birthplace, illnesses, vacations, siblings, etc.).