Deer, Antelope and Caribou

antlers deer1200Deer and Reindeer

Reindeer, or caribou, are semi-domesticated livestock which have been herded and raised for centuries by many cultures for their meat, hides, milk and transportation. The most well known deer in folk art surely must be the tale of flying reindeer pulling Santa Claus's Christmas sleigh full of gifts. Bambi is another famous fictional deer.

Elk and Caribou

The deer is depicted in many, world cultures in paintings, stories and song. Some Christians consider the deer to be a symbol of Christ. In Hindu mythology, the goddess Saraswati can assume the form of a red deer called Rohit.
Deer are considered messengers to the gods in Shintoism, the indigenous spirituality of Japan. Chinese paintings frequently depict deer as symbols of tranquility. Deer are commonly represented in heraldry by the stag or hart. Some government agencies in countries such as Norway, Sweden, Israel, England and Ireland have deer or reindeer depicted on official coats-of-arms or shields used in heraldry.

These images make great needle point or embroidery additions to pillow cases and hankies. Does anyone use hankerchiefs anymore?

Applications for these patterns could include:

  • Decals: Print on window decal sheets...
  • Foam: Trace onto colorful foam sheets to mix and match colors and shapes.
  • Cloth: Trace the designs onto tee shirts to create fun baby doll decorations with puffy paint and glitter.
  • Felt: Make filled puffy cloth pillows or window ornaments
  • Celluclay: Paper mache tree ornaments
  • Wood: Scroll saw enthusiast's dream patterns
  • Magnets: Print on magnet sheets for refrigerator magnets
  • Paper: Print and color with markers, crayons, water colors, chalk, colored pencil...
  • Stencils: Decorating the baby's room or use as patterns for sewing projects; embroidery and needle point.

Print precolored versions onto magnet sheets or iron-on transfer paper and window decal material. Make bracelet and necklace charms with shrink art. Look closely this Easter and you will see many artistically decorated eggs painted with similar folk art deer and caribou intricately woven into the Ukrainian traditional art form of Pysanky or Pisanki egg painting.