In China, dragons traditionally represent power and protection. They are thought to live in the sky or sea and can control natural forces like rain and weather, the seasons, and the harvest. Instead of breathing fire, Chinese dragons breathe clouds! They are known for wisdom, kindness, and bringing good fortune. Most Chinese dragons do not have wings; they have a snake-like body, and some also look like turtles or fish.
Chinese dragons are also very colorful, and each color has a different meaning: blue and green dragons represent peace, nature, and health; white dragons represent purity; red dragons represent good luck and good fortune; yellow dragons—which are believed to control time and the seasons, and are often used as the symbol for the emperor—represent power, wealth, wisdom, and good fortune; and black dragons represent vengeance or are associated with storms and catastrophes.
Take a closer look at the robe pictured above. It is decorated with four dragons that each have five claws. The large dragons on the front and back of the robe have large, scaly, snake-like bodies that float above crashing waves and sharp, pointy rocks. Where do you think these dragons live?
If you have an MFA art kit for this activity, you already have all the materials you need! If not, start by gathering the supplies listed below. What color will you make your dragon?
You will need:
- Dragon Puppet Template
- markers, crayons, or colored pencils
- tape, a glue stick, or liquid glue
- decorative materials such as pom-poms, cellophane, googly eyes, foam shapes, and colorful paper
- popsicle sticks or small sticks
- hole punch
- metal brads