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A Step Back in Time

Art students at St. Cyprian's Episcopal School stepped back in time as they explored the 1800s with a Pioneer Travel Trunk from the Museum of East Texas.

Traveling Trunks are a fun way to bring the museum to the class. Students get to learn by touching, looking at, and discussing artifacts and photos and by doing activities included in the trunks. In the Pioneer Travel Trunk, many of the items were clothes, utensils, quilting pieces, tools, photos, and a corn husk doll activity. The items are replicas of what would have been in a pioneer wagon that headed west in the early days of settlement.

"I hope the students have a better understanding of how far we have come, and I hope that they have a greater appreciation of the things that they have," art instructor Becky McKinley said. "Also, in a world where things can appear so perfect or easily replicated, I hope the students find an appreciation for things that are handmade and that they love the imperfections of a handmade item."

Here are steps on how to make a corn husk doll: - Take 4 corn husks and tie together close to the bottom. - Carefully fold the husks down like you are peeling a banana. - Tie a string underneath the husk that you just folded down to make your doll's head. - Set your doll's head to the side and loosely roll up a small piece of corn husk. - Tie a string on both ends of your roll to make your doll's hands. - Separate the corn husks on your doll and slide the arms in between the front and back. - Tie a string underneath the doll's arms to make its waist. - Get a new piece of husk and tear it in half so you have two long pieces. Put one piece over each shoulder to make an X on the front of your doll. Tie it in place with a piece of string. - Use scissors to cut off any extra string. Your girl doll is done.

- For a boy doll, use the scissors to cut the skirt in half. Be careful not to cut too high.

- Twist each leg together and tie the bottoms with string. Your boy doll is done!

To learn more about the Traveling Trucks, visit

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