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The Mitchell Museum of the American Indian is expanding its craft program to include all day DIY crafts during regular business hours the week of August 18-21 to fill the void between camps and the start of the school year. Activities are free with regular admission.

Kids can make simple versions of traditional Native American items including Zuni Fetish Bracelets, God’s Eyes, Plains Shields and more. Each craft includes background information about the importance of the artifact to Native American ways of life. Visitors can view similar artifacts in the exhibits which cover a variety of themes.

Zuni Fetishes are small, pocket sized carvings that represent different animals or beings in Native American lifeways. They are most often animals. They are traditionally used in ceremonies and assist or protect the owner.

Making God’s Eyes is an ancient spiritual practice believed to come from Pueblo tribes of the Southwest region and into Mexico. The spiritual eye has power to see things that the physical eye cannot.

Shields made by tribes on the Plains don’t always symbolize war, although war was a reality. Some shields provided spiritual protection and healing to the owner. Lighter and thinner than their combative counterparts, the shield patterns often reflected the inner spiritual strengths of the owner. The Mitchell Museum’s permanent exhibit showcases a Plains shield that students can take inspiration from to design their own shield that reflects their personality.

Kid’s craft activities are recommended for children ages 5 and up, but there is no minimum age requirement. Participants must be accompanied by an adult. No pre-registration is necessary.

The Mitchell Museum is one of only a handful of museums in the country that focuses exclusively on the art, history and culture of American Indian and First Nation peoples throughout the United States and Canada. In 2012, The Mitchell Museum was named “Best Museum of The North Shore: Up and Comer” by Make it Better magazine, won the Superior award by the Illinois Association of Museums and was named an national finalist by the American Association of State and Local History award program.

For more information about The Mitchell Museum of The American Indian, visit www.mitchellmuseum.org or call 847-475-1030. The museum is open Tuesday- Wednesday 10 am- 5 pm, Thursday 10 am-8 pm, Friday- Saturday 10 am-5 pm and Sunday noon to 4 pm. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, students and children and FREE for Mitchell Museum members and Tribal members.