QR code beaded bracelets use traditional art to share storytelling history

QR code - Beaded bracelet Native American
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The jewelry can be scanned with a smartphone to share Navajo Native American history.

November is National Native American Heritage Month and as a part of its celebration, new QR code beaded bracelets have been created to share a traditional craft and storytelling at the same time.

The attractive and eye-catching jewelry can be used to communicate storytelling information.

The idea of using QR code jewelry to share history through smartphone scans isn’t as new as it might seem. Clearly, the use of barcode scans using a phone is new, but the use of patterns to communicate information ahs been a part of Navajo Native American history for centuries. The jewelry is a riff on the traditional use of patterns, enhanced with technology for expanded and more detailed storytelling.

The bracelets are being used as a part of the National Native American Heritage Month celebration. Students are making seed bracelets using tech replicating traditional craft techniques, but that provide scannable quick response barcodes. Scanning the barcodes lead to webpages written by the students. They each feature audio files, video clips or animations that share Navajo history. The project was inspired by eyeDazzler, which is a form of beadwork tapestry made using software that generates Navajo weaving patterns.

QR code - digital technology

The QR code bracelets start as a design which the software then turns into a usable pattern.

The students that took part in this celebration began by designing their bracelets through the use of graph paper, software, or a virtual loom, said a recent Hackaday report on the barcode bracelet project. From there, the program created a pattern that the students could follow using seed beads and tweezers.

The software gave the students the choice between a static or dynamic QR code for their beaded jewelry project.

The project provided the kids with a range of simultaneous learning opportunities. To start, they were able to make a beaded bracelet that honored traditional Navajo designs. Next, they were able to learn math and computational ideas through the rows and columns through which the beads were required to be laid out. Finally, it was also considered to be a strong tool for teaching lines of symmetry.

Of course, there was also the important learning opportunity that the students were able to enjoy as they created the Navajo history storytelling pages to which the QR code bracelets directed anyone who scanned the code.

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