Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Native American Concho Belts

We are on a kick of making wearable art lately.  We made crowns,  Native American Feather Headbands, and now Native American Concho belts.  The fascinating thing about these belts is that the metal discs, which are called conchos, were originally hammered from real silver dollars!!!  You learn something every day!  These conchos not only were part of belts,  but also were used as a decoration on clothing and for hair decoration! We used simple materials to create our own concho belts: craft foam, permanent markers, and ribbon... or you could use yarn too.  Here is beautiful concho belt  from Sedonaindianjewelry.com.  Check out some beautiful Native American Concho Belts by checking out my Google image search for them here.

Here you can see one of C's Native American Headbands while she is designing her craft foam conchos for her belt.  You could pre-cut the foam shapes or have children cut their own shapes.  I wanted the focus to be on designing the conchos, so I pre-cut them and punched the holes on the sides.  If you don't have craft foam, you could use construction paper too.  I had C look at a paper with Native American Designs found here for ideas,  but she also chose some of her own too.  We used permanent markers on the craft foam so the image wouldn't rub off.

After the designs were finished,  C strung them on some thin ribbon.  It was good practice sewing to get the conchos going all the right way.  Definitely a good skill to practice fine motor skills!  Here is C's finished concho belt....ready to wear!  When I did this with my elementary art students they couldn't wait to wear them....C didn't want to wear hers.  Go figure!!!  Either way it turned out cute and it inspired her to create more concho belts!

Here is my finished concho belt!

I absolutely LOVE Native American Art!!!

What Native American Art Inspires you?

I love Dream Catchers, Totem Poles, Pouches, Beadwork, Pottery, and more.....(I could go on!)


  1. I did not know about these concho belts, they look great. Thanks for sharing. Love both the concho belts!!

  2. yeah, I love both too. The little girl did such an amazing job :) Hugs to her...and to you too :))
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Cassie did a great job of this belt. I think concho belts may be particular to South Native American art, where silver was more widely used, possibly. Here in Canada we don't seem to have this art form.
    I also love First Nations art, dream catchers, and totem poles... and as well paintings by the Inuit, and Dene people, with their black outlines, and deep vibrant colours.
    As well there is some beautiful artwork made of gold, by some artists of the Haida people that is breathtaking.

  4. Love these, I like the mix of colours!