Dora Milaje Tabi Boot 

Students will learn how to integrate visual information from the Black Panther film into physical objects, specifically how to simulate cultural symbols and patterns. After generating their own designs, they will create 2D and 3D materials to make a shoe or boot. 

This lesson originates from Ruth Carter’s approach to costume design for the Black Panther film. Students will create a pattern using software to be laser etched into soft material that is then laser cut to make a tabi-style boot. If time allows, students can create shoe accessories such as 3D printed ankle bracelets and casings for electronic devices.

This lesson was inspired by the Dora Milaje, a team of women who serve as special forces for the fictional African nation of Wakanda (see images). Students will create and piece together the components for the project using a variety of digital fabrication and computation methods. This lesson culminates in the creation and display of a tabi-style boot.


Subjects ELA, Technology,  Engineering

Grade Levels 7-9+

Fab Tools 3D Printer, Laser cutter, Electronics, 

Collections Fab Tested, Special Collection

Contributors Nettrice Gaskins and Daniel Smithwick

We welcome your feedback on our lesson!

Name *