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Scare Crow Workshop – The effigy Context

I grew up in fields, spend some of my time helping my family with day to day farm work and that included an adventurous activity of making the scariest thing with available resources i.e. old clothes, grass, wood and earthen pots. I would experiment with the shirts, would tear it from different portions or either paint eyes in a different shapes with large eyeballs or dark shade of skin tone or maybe making long hands with sharp claws. This all portrayed my idea of a scary thing that would shoo away bids and other animals. I observed and also heard out how birds explore up soil and farms in search of treasures like seeds, moths, insects or earthworms and a scary effigy out there will keep them away.

Scare Crows reflect images of occult, customs, culture, art form, fashion (apparel), mythology and superstition in the region. These effigies although come out with an unsaid strong warning of ‘No Trespassing’ and no matter what cultural roots are or the idea is , the sole purpose is to frighten. Similarly looking at effigies at different occasions like political demonstrations, protests, religious ceremonies like Dusshera ; effigies have proved to be an efficient & peaceful tool of representing anger, retaliation or ideas. So as a part of ElemenTree Life Lab Gardens, we thought of educating kids about this and have them explore the making of an effigy themselves.

Raise your voice : Children with happy faces.

During the workshop kids brought available material like bamboo and aluminium sticks, used pots, straw, old clothes and colors. The whole team distributed the work accordingly and started making different parts of the effigy . They worked towards making something that would keep the birds away from the garden. Designing the face with colors triggered thinking process and imagination of children and they came up with ideas to paint the face.

Beauty parlor stop: kids named this a parlor for designs.

Finally we assembled all body parts to make a really scary effigy that would keep our gardens safe from robbery and attacks. The energy among kids during its installation in a pot filled with soil made us happy for the efforts we put in.

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