Nativity Sheets
Southwest Nativity for Children from Carolyn Loshbaugh
Carolyn's love and wonder of the Navajo and their way of life inspires a Nativity…

There are so many figures in the Southwest Nativity for Chidren, a whole Indian Pueblo unfolds before your eyes.

Each piece has its own tab which, when cut and folded, makes a great base.
Artists have painted The Nativity in icicle-draped cottages, so why notthe Great Sonoran Desert?

That's exactly what Carolyn Loshbaughhas done: a veritable Indian Pueblo unfolds before your eyes as you set up herSouthwest Nativity for Children.

Above a wide horizon dotted with cactus and hills, a blue sky is dotted with a bright star.

A hogan — a typee-like structure covered with pelts — makes a marvelous stable, and a colorful Indian rug a cosy throw on which a geometric-blanket covered Mother rest the Child's papoose.

Joseph, clad in indian shirt and headband stands on the right, and an angel with feathery wings kneels on the left.

Wise Men wearing feathered headresses are bearing gifts, and a weaver kneels at her rug loom.

A bobcat approaches from behind a tall sugaro cactus, a prairie dog stands at attention, a rattlesnake slithers behind a bush, and a lizard and gila monster approach by the fire that's burning in front of the stable.

Cutting out and Setting up

In the downloadable PDF file Carolyn has included all the simple instructions you'll need to create you very own Southwest Nativity for Children. But we'll take you through the basic steps here as well, just so you can see how simple it all is.

Attach side panels to back panels, score along join lines, and slightly bend background sides forward, as shown in the diorama on top of page.

Cut along inside edges of each tab, score along dotted line, and fold each piece towards you so that it will easily stand up.

That's it!

Now, just think of all the fun you'll have setting it all up!

And playing "Where is the…" We're talking creepy crawlies every child would love: a scorpion, horned toad; tarantula, centipede, even a rattlesnake!

For the less faint of heart, there are plenty of little creatures to love: a lizard, gila monster, a roadrunner, a jackrabbit, a bobcat, a coyote, an eagle, a donkey, a buffalo, a horse, and two lambs.

Now, how many pieces are we talking about, all together?

Please get your little ones counting — and let me know.


And thanks, Carolyn.

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julekrybbe -
This is the favorite nativity of my grandchild. She is playing with it whenever she can. Thank you

Hatvany -
I really love the Navaho nativity that you did. I live in New Mexico and many of the plants and animals in your nativity are native to the area I live in. I would like to know if you would consider a Cherokee Nativity? My husband is part Cherokee and I would love to have one that I could make for him that showed his background. Thank you for the Navaho one I just adore it. As soon as I can get the paper and get it printed I will make it for next Christmas.

dolliemouse -
Hello Hatvany,
Thank you for your nice comments about the Navajo Nativity. I think the success of that Nativity was due to the fact that I knew the subject really well. Even though I am 1/8 Cherokee, I have never lived near them and know nothing of their culture. My grandmother would never talk about it. Her father was French, and her Mom was Cherokee, but back in those days one could easily die admitting it. They were the first to integrate with the Europeans, as I remember, and I am told that many of their customs and history were integrated long before the reservations were set up. Perhaps making a nativity for the Cherokee Nation is something you might want to attempt as I wouldn't know where to start! Carolyn

elbiekje -
Thanks a lot for this navajo nativity. It is really lovely and I like making it together with my granddaughter.
I welcome all other cultures nativities.

yishdioh -
Beautiful work. I'm wondering why you called it a Navajo nativity, though. Hopis and some of the other Pueblo tribes have the traditional women's hairdo of the "bun" on each side of their head. Navajo women traditionally wear their hair in a "bun" on the back of their head (like the one doing the weaving). Navajos don't wear feather headdresses either. The buffalo definitely wouldn't be found in Navajo country. I work hard to help my children understand their Navajo culture while growing up off the reservation and it can be tough when people mix and match all the tribes into a generic group.

Alexis -
I know that Carolyn's depiction of her Southwest-themed Nativity had no intention of causing any concern, whatsoever. Buffalos? Artistic license, Carolyn making the Nativity her own, I am sure, as artists have done down the centuries.

dolliemouse -
You have brought out some very good points, and I think you have a valid concern to maintain your wonderful heritage in this rapidly changing world. I will attempt to explain the now-obvious departures from historical accuracy. As I conceived the idea for the nativity, I patterned it after the European way of creating a nativity. Thus, not only the immediate area surrounding Bethlehem came to worship, but also everyone else imaginable came to visit the baby Jesus.

The Hopi reservation is inside of the Navajo Nation, and so I didn't really pay attention to the hair styles as both came to the mission where I worked those summers in college. I did show my work to my friend who was a missionary to the Navajos there for 30 years, both in Window Rock and in Tuba City, and she made no mention of the hairstyle problem. But I can see how this would trouble you.

In this nativity, the feather headdresses were not put on the Navajo, just on the visiting wise men and the peacepipe visitor. I purposely put the visitors in costumes that were not Navajo. I was thinking all sorts of neighboring people would have come to visit baby Jesus, so I made them uniquely different.

Regarding the Buffalo, I was not aware they never inhabited the Navajo nation, and mistakenly put him there out of my apparent ignorance. And since you mention it, I do honestly say I never saw a buffalo in the southwest. I made an assumption - my big mistake! I grew up in Wyoming where they were plentiful. One of the cities in Wyoming is named "the water at the place where the buffalo chug" ie. Chugwater. I've been there many times, and it has a high bluff overlooking the city very similar to the terrain in Arizona. So, now I will regard the buffalo as a "visitor" too, patterned after the myriads of visiting animals shown in some of the European nativities. Many of their nativities have elephants! The buffalo is so majestic, I shall keep him! If an elephant can travel all the way from India or Africa to visit baby Jesus, so can a buffalo walk to an imaginary nativity in the southwest.

My sincere apologies for any discomfort this created for the education of your children. Now I have changed the name to "Southwest American Indian Nativity." I'm so glad to have an expert on board, here. Warm regards, Carolyn

Celso -
”Lots of people will protest that it’s quite unreal and that I'm out of my mind, but that's just too bad” -- Claude Monet

Carolyn, thank you very for your contribution for this group. Your art is beautiful and you should give to it the name you want to.

dolliemouse -
Thank you, Celso for the nice comments. The Navajo Nation is quite small, and they are desperately trying to maintain their heritage and culture in the face of modern USA tugging at their children. I felt changing the name was the least I could do to prevent promoting stereotypes due to errors. So with the new name, it can absorb diverse Southwest Native American cultures without compromising the actual figures represented in this nativity.

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Nativity Sheets
Southwest Nativity for Children from Carolyn Loshbaugh
 Carolyn Loshbaugh Free Download
In Carolyn's Nativity the Great Sonoran desert is full of blooms — and creatures that walk, crawl, or fly. You and your child will have lots of fun cutting-out and arranging all the Navajo-themed pieces…
Price: FREE!
Size: 16 x 8 x 6 inches.
Format: PDF
Pages: 7
File Size: 19.6 MB
Skill Level: Easy
Downloads: 1,259
Courtesy: Carolyn Loshbaugh
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Carolyn's Vintage Diorama Nativity
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Carolyn Loshbaugh — Aka Maddie Hobbes or Dolliemouse
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