This year’s Thanksgiving Google Doodle was the first Native American one featured by Google. It incorporates the Three Sisters—corn, beans, and squash—and background history was provided by the National Museum of the American Indian.
The doodle shows the Three Sisters emerging from a cornucopia. “While it’s common to see the Sisters at today’s Thanksgiving tables, these crops prospered through thousands of years of careful domestication,” explained a Google blog about the doodle.
“This planting technique, combining the three crops, originated in Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) villages, and was commonly used at the time of the European settlements in the early 1600s,” the blog explains. “This indigenous practice revolutionized horticulture and helped stave off starvation in many areas, including the Old World—an incredible agricultural achievement for which we can all give thanks!”
Google brought on artist Julia Cone to create the papercraft image, which began as a number of sketches, and went through lots of color variations before the final doodle was chosen.
“I started to play with how to move the color across the image, while still basing the shapes off the traditional Google logo. It was a fun challenge!” Julia said in the Google blog about the doodle. Then came the final step: painting, cutting, and pasting it all together: “In the end, I hope that viewers will enjoy the craft of cut paper as an art form in a digital space.”
Preliminary sketches of the Thanksgiving doodle before the final was chosen.