Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Whispers from the Past at the Aldridge Botanical Gardens

Three sisters garden at Aldridge
On October 23rd the ANTHRO-TEACH students and faculty participated in the Aldridge Botanical Gardens second annual celebration of Native American Culture. This exciting full-day of outreach and education for the public and their families was hosted by the Aldridge Gardens with the partnership and support of ANTHRO-TEACH, Moundville Archaeological Park, Legacy Partners in Environmental Education, and the Alabama Humanities Foundation.

One of the activities for kids included a puppet show about the Native American myth of the Three-sisters (corn, beans and squash).

Chip Wente created a traditional kitchen and cooked native Alabama foods in an earth oven using clay pots he created in the traditional Native American style.

 Using Native American flint knapping and hafting methods Chip created an array of tools that would have been used in the past by the Southeastern Native Americans.

UAB ANTHRO-TEACH students and faculty worked with the Aldridge volunteers and crafters to teach the public about the lifeways of the Native Americans in Alabama and the Southeast. Visitors to Aldridge learned about beading and the bead loom.

UAB Anthropology Department faculty Lori Cormier and Sharyn Jones explained artifacts, (their use and construction) from the Josselyn Archaeology Collection housed at UAB Here visitors are handling enigmatic clay "Poverty Point Objects" from the site of Poverty Point in Louisiana.

UAB Anthropology student Brandon Grisaffi explains pottery making in Alabama per-Columbian times to Aldridge visitors.
UAB Anthropology Graduate Student Christel Carlisle describes Native American homes and musical instruments to program participants.
Graduate student, Anna McCown explains ground stone technology and the distribution of Native American tribes in the past.
Dr. Jones discusses Alabama archaeology with visitors to the Josselyn exhibit.
Visitors to the Aldridge event learned about native gourd crafts, that include rattles, spoons, and bowls. Pictured above, two Anthropology graduate students, Jade Delisle and Anna McCown clean and work gourds as they teach local kids about this process.

Aldridge visitors select gourds to work and create useful household items with.
Andrew Kirkpatrick, a UAB Anthropology student (pictured below) worked with Aldridge volunteers and program participants to teach about the atlatl. The atlata is a tool invented by Native Americans in the Southeast who used it for leverage to enhance the distance that a dart could be thrown.

Visitors also engaged in leaf pounding, an ancient Cherokee craft.

Ethel Owen displays her beautiful pine needle baskets, a type of weaving art used by Native Americans.

The photos below are of the Sylestine Legacy, a troupe of Creek Indian dancers who participated in the Whispers from the Past event.

These young visitors to Aldridge try their hands at making music.....

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