Fun Crafts from Around the World

Rangoli from India

Rangoli is painted on the ground at the entrance of a house to welcome guests during the festival of lights Diwali. Rangoli patterns are outlined in chalk and usually filled in with rice powder that has been colored with dyes.
You can even use flower petals, rice and cereal. Try creating designs with chalk or oil pastels.

At the left are some sample patterns. Feel free to create your own and be colorful!

Umaki from Mozambique

Mozambique is a country on the coast of southeast Africa. Being located on the water, the coast is very important to the country. The rivers that lead to the Mozambique Channel and the Indian Ocean help the farmers of the country grow crops to export (cotton, cashews, sugar) and feed their families (beans, wheat, cassava). There are also people who fish off the coast and catch shrimp to export to other countries. The capital city, Maputo, has a thriving port, which is used by South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.

Umake, which means “the coast,” is played with 2 players (more can play if desired) who each need a small stone, button or coin to play and one extra stone. In Mozambique, children used to draw Umake’s spiral shape in the dirt or sand using small stones as the playing pieces.

To create a Umake board, draw a picture of a spiral and be creative by drawing pictures of harbors, dunes, costal swamps, flat plains, grassy plateaus, rivers, cities, farms and towns of Mozambique…or just draw dots to stand for the pictures. Then put the Mozambique Channel and Indian Ocean on the right side of the spiral and presto-you have Mozambique and the game board for Umake! At the right is an example of what a Umake board might look like.

To play, each player places one stone on the black center dot. One player then holds their hands behind their back with the extra stone clasped in one of their closed fists. That player then brings their fists in front of their chest and asks, “Which hand?” The other player must guess which hand holds the stone. If the player guesses correctly, the guessing player advances to the next picture, if incorrect, that player must remain where they are.

Players take turns being the guesser and the hider of the stone, as players advance to the out of the spiral towards the coast. The first player to get to “Umake” (the coast) wins!