Kara's Party Ideas American Indian Inspired Birthday Party | Kara's Party Ideas

American Indian Inspired Birthday Party on Kara's Party Ideas | KarasPartyIdeas.com (32)

Brave Little Warriors and twinkling fires, this American Indian Inspired Birthday Party, will fulfill all of your heart’s desires!

Styled by Emma Chia of Hopping Hares Parties

, out of Singapore; this incredible party, with its custom decor and beautiful boho party details, will have you swooning!

The American Indian Inspired party ideas + elements you just can’t miss from this sweet occasion, include:

  • Twinkle light campfire
  • Dreamy dreamcatchers
  • Painted prairie rocks
  • Feather cupcake toppers
  • Feathered headdresses

American Indian Inspired Birthday Party

Feathered letter from an American Indian Inspired Birthday Party on Kara's Party Ideas | KarasPartyIdeas.com (14)

American Indian Inspired Birthday Party on Kara's Party Ideas | KarasPartyIdeas.com (20)

American Indian Inspired Birthday Party on Kara's Party Ideas | KarasPartyIdeas.com (30)

Dreamcatcher from an American Indian Inspired Birthday Party on Kara's Party Ideas | KarasPartyIdeas.com (11)

Dreamcatcher rim from an American Indian Inspired Birthday Party on Kara's Party Ideas | KarasPartyIdeas.com (12)

Gold-tipped feather from an American Indian Inspired Birthday Party on Kara's Party Ideas | KarasPartyIdeas.com (13)

Bow and arrows from an American Indian Inspired Birthday Party on Kara's Party Ideas | KarasPartyIdeas.com (15)

American Indian Inspired Birthday Party on Kara's Party Ideas | KarasPartyIdeas.com (32)

Feather bunting on a walking stick from an American Indian Inspired Birthday Party on Kara's Party Ideas | KarasPartyIdeas.com (16)

Painted prairie rocks from an American Indian Inspired Birthday Party on Kara's Party Ideas | KarasPartyIdeas.com (17)

Walking Sticks from an American Indian Inspired Birthday Party on Kara's Party Ideas | KarasPartyIdeas.com (10)Twinkling campfire from an American Indian Inspired Birthday Party on Kara's Party Ideas | KarasPartyIdeas.com (9)

Campfire stories from an American Indian Inspired Birthday Party on Kara's Party Ideas | KarasPartyIdeas.com (8)

American History from an American Indian Inspired Birthday Party on Kara's Party Ideas | KarasPartyIdeas.com (29)Headdress and war markings from an American Indian Inspired Birthday Party on Kara's Party Ideas | KarasPartyIdeas.com (18)Story-time from an American Indian Inspired Birthday Party on Kara's Party Ideas | KarasPartyIdeas.com (19)Food from an American Indian Inspired Birthday Party on Kara's Party Ideas | KarasPartyIdeas.com (26)Feather cupcake topper from an American Indian Inspired Birthday Party on Kara's Party Ideas | KarasPartyIdeas.com (28)Dreamcatchers from an American Indian Inspired Birthday Party on Kara's Party Ideas | KarasPartyIdeas.com (27)Beads from an American Indian Inspired Birthday Party on Kara's Party Ideas | KarasPartyIdeas.com (23)Totem poll lollipops from an American Indian Inspired Birthday Party on Kara's Party Ideas | KarasPartyIdeas.com (24)

Little Indian from an American Indian Inspired Birthday Party on Kara's Party Ideas | KarasPartyIdeas.com (22)

Feathers and beads from an American Indian Inspired Birthday Party on Kara's Party Ideas | KarasPartyIdeas.com (25)Indian headband and beadwork fringe top from an American Indian Inspired Birthday Party on Kara's Party Ideas | KarasPartyIdeas.com (7)Walking sticks from an American Indian Inspired Birthday Party on Kara's Party Ideas | KarasPartyIdeas.com (31)Little Indians from an American Indian Inspired Birthday Party on Kara's Party Ideas | KarasPartyIdeas.com (21)

American Indian Inspired Party Details:

This is what Emma shared about the party- “I am a one-woman-show! So, I design, cater, host and photograph my own parties. They have always come about because of the love I have for my 3 gorgeous girls. We don’t have a great deal of money. So, I try and make up for it, by putting in extra effort come party time. I come from a design background, so parties are also a chance for me to forget the dishes and homework and get creative! I use what I have lying around the house or what I can find at the $2 store, along with my own designs for printables. Also, I also try as best I can to be environmentally conscious. No balloons, no plastic disposables and no plastic rubbish for party bags!

I chose the American Indian theme because dream catchers were becoming trendy at the time. There was also a great deal of talk via my Facebook page regarding Standing Rock. So I started doing my research. Obviously I knew a fair amount already, but got more and more interested, the more I read.

I always like to keep my parties as authentic as possible, whilst of course allowing for a plenty of artistic license. Also, I like to use my parties as an opportunity to educate. I believe there is no better time for kids to learn, than when they are having fun!

I had said to the Mums that if the kids wanted to, they could dress up. To my delight, the majority came dressed as beautiful little squaws! (Inexpensive costumes made from cut up t-shirts of their Dad’s!) It made the party so much more charming! As they arrived we gave each child an arm band with a feather tattoo, red war paint on their cheeks, a headdress and an American Indian name: Dancing Wind, Little Fox, Brave Thunder and so on. This way, any that weren’t dressed up, didn’t end up feeling left out.

We started with a craft whilst waiting for everyone to arrive. I sanded down sticks we gathered from the park, painted sections gold, then attached string towards the top. The kids then painted and decorated the sticks, adding beads and feathers on the string. These were their TALKING STICKS!

We then had a sit down session around the camp ‘fire’ to learn a little more about American Indians so that the rest of the games and crafts had more meaning.

It was then time for a treasure hunt. We hid rocks around the garden that had American Indian traditional symbols on them. Once they found them all, they brought them back to the camp fire. Here the kids chose one of the symbols each. One by one they stood, holding a large talking stick, and started creating a story based on the symbol that they held in their hand. As we went around the circle, so the story unfolded. I was super impressed with the wonderful story they thought up about American Indian princesses, buffalos of the great plains and elaborate ceremonies!

We then had a second craft to make DREAM CATCHERS. I already made the body of the dream catchers ahead of time, as they were rather too tricky for 6 year olds to manage. It was their job to add beads and feathers of their choice. I then attached a card feather onto the top, that had their names, plus their temporary American Indian names, printed on, so we knew whose was whose. The kids were so proud of their handiwork!

The weather was appalling, so we didn’t manage to play several of the games I had up my sleeve, but the time flew and before we knew it, it was time for the cake and home time. The talking sticks and the dream catchers were their going home presents, along with a lollipop with a totem pole printed wrapper.”

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Leave a Reply

8 Comments
  1. Kristen says:

    Kara, I know you mean well, but do you have any idea how offensive this is? Native Americans are victimized far too often as is (HELLO STANDING ROCK) and what few rituals and cultural traditions are left are sacred. This isn’t party fodder, it’s hurtful. If you guys want to educate children on Native American and First Nation traditions – FANTASTIC – but hair feathers and warrior markings are not the place to start. Look, I’m sure you don’t expect all your readers to share your faith traditions, but would you not be horrified if someone took your most sacred rituals and turned them into a kid’s party theme for the sake of being “trendy”?

    This breaks my heart.

    • Hannah says:

      Kristen, can I ask your thoughts on a Hawaiian luau and Mexican fiesta?

      • Kristen says:

        Hannah,
        So, I cannot speak for all forms of cultural appropriation, but there are two obvious considerations here; 1. Cultural gestures and Sacred faith/spiritual based traditions; Different animals. It’s one thing to celebrate and share food and music …it is another thing to take sacred symbols and convert them into party fodder for the sake of accessorizing. We don’t need to get into in depth semiotics here, but for the sake of example, if someone mounted a bleeding Jesus crucifix on a kid’s party hat, I’m guessing some folks would think that’s out of line. Even if it was offered up with good intention, some things are not cool. We know this. Even for non-Christians, even if you don’t find the concept offensive, you know there are other *better* ways to learn the teachings of Christ. 2. Hawaii and Mexico are real places and (*with exception) nobody is taking away their land, their language, or their way of life. That is not something Native Americans can claim. Each tribe must fight – literally fight – with municipal governments to keep what little they have left. Many of the ceremonial articles that non-natives commercialize were illegal in the US until 1978. Folks who have never had to worry about their own cultural preservation are totally oblivious to this. And that is fine. Really, it’s fine. You don’t have to take up the fight for Native Americans, but could you not make the problem worse? I’m thinking that’s a pretty easy request.

    • Emma Chia says:

      Dear Kristen, I’m deeply saddened that you find my party so offensive. I sincerely apologize. It was never my intention. I tried to do considerable research, to take it beyond a ‘trendy’ party to one that was educational. The kids were aware that their headdresses were just for fun, as we talked about the significance and meaning of the large selection of feathers used for ceremonial use. Ranging from Eagle feathers down to the hummingbird’s. They learned the story of the spider woman, Asibikaashi when we made the dream catchers. The war paint was admittedly, a bit much, but it was meant just as a lighthearted attempt to engage the boys, in an otherwise rather girly pink party.
      But perhaps I can explain my intentions… Living in Singapore, the children here at this age (6 years old) lead fairly insular lives. School starts by teaching them the basics: maths, English and Chinese. So I like to introduce an educational element to my parties. I realize I can’t cover every aspect of a culture in a 3 hour party. Perhaps I shouldn’t have attempted it in the first place. However, isn’t it better that the children learn the basic fact that there are different peoples with different cultures out there? Instead of believing the whole world must be like their own affluent, protected existence? That there are vital and pressing issues concerning our environment? (Explaining to them the reason I don’t use balloons or disposable plastics – to contribute in a small way to keeping our waters clean.)

      We all get offended by other’s lack of knowledge and understanding of our own cultures. I’m sorry that my lack of understanding offended you/yours. But we can’t all know everything about everything. Especially not at 6 years old. So to give them a little knowledge is surely better than none? The more our kids learn, the more likely there will be acceptance, understanding, respect and ultimately peace. Hopefully as they grow older they will take a greater interest and find out more for themselves. I was just sewing the seeds…..whilst trying to give the kids some fun.

      The last thing I would ever want is to cause offense to a (your?) beautiful culture and sacred traditions. I would be grateful to learn more….

      • Kristen says:

        Okay. This is hard because I see that you were really thinking this is a good thing. I get that, and I praise you for wanting to expand your circle. That is a good thing. However, I have a hard time believing you spent much time on research though – the title alone gives that away; the term is Native American or First Nation (mostly used in Canada), not American Indian. Granted I don’t speak for all people, and some Natives prefer using the term Indian for individuals or each other (this is a lengthy topic), but if you want to group all tribes together, the accepted term is *not* American Indian. Hasn’t been for decades. Why would people who have lived here thousands of years before Columbus or colonialization choose to start their name with “American”? Think about that for a minute. Any authoritative source for understanding Native culture will come down clear on this. I don’t know how any non-Native could claim to do much research on the subject and still use the term, but let’s move on because there is a bigger issue here that I really hope you will understand: There is not one Native American culture; there are hundreds. The Dreamcatcher is an Ojibwe tradition. So if you want to share it, call it Ojibwe. You’ll also find a similar story in Lakota tribe, but it’s different. The sacred speaking sticks you featured are used in tribes at the other side of the country, a Kwakiutl tradition, I believe. I know, it’s confusing. And that is just it – each tribe is different and has is its own sovereign nation, and they really prefer if we would all have the mutual respect to treat them as such. There are millions of Native people. And they are tired of being told that they don’t have rights over how they are represented in mainstream America. Their lands and languages are pretty much gone – all they have left are their traditions. When non-natives mush these traditions together in one pot and distill them down to a costume or toy, it is, at best, insensitive. At worst, it commodifies and perverts sacred rituals into something fictional and teaches children (of all cultures and backgrounds) that it’s perfectly acceptable to play dress up as a Native person, without regard for ceremonial practices. This is a big deal. I can see how someone might see these gestures as teaching opportunities, and that some awareness is better than none… but that is like saying you would rather your neighbors know lies about you rather than not know you at all.

        Why are Native Americans so uptight about protecting these traditions? *IT IS ALL THEY HAVE LEFT.* (pardon the all caps, I need to drive that point home). These traditions have survived in North America for millennia, despite countless acts of cruelty, violence, government suppression, and attempted genocide. Native people gave up on asking non-Natives for help a long time ago, they will take up their own battles, but they ask that you not make the problem worse. Parties like this make it worse.

        Want to share Native traditions with your children? AWESOME. Take it one tribe, one tradition, one symbol at a time. There are countless children’s books that do a terrific job of this task. It is better to have one story right than ten stories wrong.

        Again, I praise you for wanting to learn and share Native customs. There are many places in which to do this, but a kid’s party just isn’t one of them. Also, for the record, just because someone chooses to be offended does not make them right. You don’t have to agree with me. I do not share this perspective for the sake of argument, I share in hope that you, and anyone reading this, will make more informed choices. So much pain is caused by folks who simply did not know better. Now you know. Now the choice is yours. I hope you will choose better.

        • Emma Chia says:

          My naivety and misguided good intentions have landed me in hot water! I understand your points and will take them on board. Thank you for spending the time to outline for me. I can only apologize again.
          For the record, my research was over a matter of weeks…not years, so of course in your eyes it was not enough. However, I did make a point in going only onto NATIVE American websites. It was from these that I understood ‘American Indian’ was the preferred term. But I stand corrected. (But doesn’t NATIVE AMERICAN have American in the name also? Or am I missing the point?).
          Also for the record we did talk about the large number of different tribes and cultures, and touched on genocide and boarding schools…. But I realize now all this is getting me deeper into hot water.
          Just please accept my heartfelt apology. I have learnt something today…..

          • Emma Chia says:

            Kristen, do you have an email address on which I could contact you? I’d love to learn more…if you had the time and inclination….

  2. Lauren says:

    This is very inappropriate and offensive.