Add some trendy tribal-inspired patterns to your favorite shirts, totes, or fabrics with this tribal pattern painting tutorial with free downloadable template from Katy at Sweet Verbena!
More projects with bold colors and geometric shapes:

Haley Pierson-Cox

Haley Pierson-Cox

Brooklyn-based DIY from a Gal in Granny Glasses

  • jess

    Someone’s gotta say it. This is at least a little bit racist.

  • Nicky

    I concur–I feel like this piece is totally culturally appropriative. Boo!

  • http://www.thezenofmaking.com Haley Pierson-Cox

    Thanks for your comment, Jess. Unless the design in the tutorial was inspired by a specific cultural influence that the author could then share with her readers, I think it would have been more appropriate to describe the pattern as geometric rather than tribal.
    -Haley @ CRAFT

  • http://www.thezenofmaking.com Haley Pierson-Cox

    Thanks for your comment, Nicky. The author of the tutorial may very well have been inspired by her own cultural background, but I probably would have chosen to describe the pattern as geometric rather than tribal to avoid confusion.
    -Haley @ CRAFT

  • colleen King

    Pretty tired of everyone slapping a “DAS RACIST” label on every well intentioned craft.

    • Fisher

      I understand that it seems overly sensitive, Colleen. Yet cultural appropriation is a serious problem for Native American Tribes/First Nations (and for lots of other peoples, too), as there have been several recent fashion and clothing designs that have used traditional designs in their (i.e. Urban Outfitters use of Navajo branding and traditional weaving designs – http://www.npr.org/2012/04/05/150062611/navajo-nation-sues-urban-outfitters-over-trademark).

      The biggest problems with cultural appropriation are 1) that sometimes the patterns borrowed are traditionally used by a Nation for very specific, sacred objects; 2) the Nation and its members lose out on credit and possible monetary compensation for the use of their traditions; 3) the meaning behind the pattern is lost to those who are using it out of context; and 4) it encourages people to view important and sacred designs and art as trends rather than an important part of someone’s life – those people who are appropriating are not looking at a Navajo or Hopi or Lakota or Cherokee as a real person.

      The above design looks like a fairly broadly used design amongst many different southwestern Tribes, but I am not an expert in said designs. As Katy notes in the tutorial and comments, she is part Native American and she wanted to share her love of that part of her heritage. I do not think she meant to hurt anyone or encourage cultural appropriation.

      • http://www.thezenofmaking.com Haley Pierson-Cox

        Thanks for your input and for adding such useful information to the conversation. -Haley on CRAFT

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