Sunday, August 26, 2012

Indian Givers And Redbud Trees

 
 Richard and I went to a Wildlife Festival yesterday in Rockdale County.  There was a demonstration by Native Americans (Cherokees and Creeks in this area) and it was fascinating.  There are two books that I would recommend to you and they are "Indian Givers" by Jack Weatherford and "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee" by Dee Brown.  Both are excellent.  I read them years ago but still remember them with great fondness.  This first photo with the arrowheads and stones caught my eye and I snapped this photo. Just since I have been home and have been looking at it all, I see that those are feathers that have been arranged so artistically in the middle.  What hoofed creature's leg is that to the right, is it a deer?  What was that used for, I wonder?  Could it have been used as a hoe?
 This is a demonstration of the fire used for cooking food and for drinking water.   The fire is reduced to the white hot ashes and then food is placed into the ashes. Those are red potatoes at the front of the fire.  Later, they put corn (still in its husk) on there and yellow squash sliced in half placed upon the hot stones.  The Native Americans would also take a squash gourd and clean it very well and then would use that to collect water from the streams.  They would then take the very hot stones from the fire and place them into the gourd filled with water and would thereby purify the water.  And that is a deerskin on the left and that is where we Americans get our other name for a dollar, a buck!
This photo shows the hollowed out gourd and the stones to the left.  I love the scuppernongs (like muscadines, only green)  in the handmade basket and the yellow squash are to the upper right.  I asked about the lichen and below that, the husk from corn.  Lichen can be eaten!  I was assured that it does not taste that good but that if it is cleaned it is perfectly edible and could sustain you if you needed food in the wild.  The cornhusk was used by Native Americans  as a diuretic, it was soaked in water and they would drink the cornhusky water.  Not sure, what kind of nuts they have here.  You could bet that my Dad would know! (And please, do NOT go into the wild and eat something on my say-so! I am from small-town Georgia and am just passing along to you what was shown to me at this festival.  I promise you that all the country knowledge that my Dad might have in common with Native Americans is his knowledge alone, and not mine!)
 
GB just asked me about the pink trees that I was posing beside in my one year blog anniversary post.  They are Eastern Redbud trees and they are native to this area.  They are the very first trees to bloom and they are always a very welcome sight.  The blooms from an Eastern Redbud tree were also eaten by the Native Americans and that makes total sense to me since they bloom in mid March and would be one of the few blooming plants at that time of year.
 
Beautiful owls from the Wildlife Festival...from AWARE and also, from a Bird of Prey Show...but that will have to be for another post.    Just you wait, you will be amazed by their beauty.

48 comments:

  1. I learn something new everytime I read one of your post. I did not know Redbud was edible. And that collection of arrowheads is fantastic.
    I would have enjoyed going to that event! Well-I did, thanks to you!! I'm looking forward to the next post.
    Dorothy

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    1. Hey Dorothy!
      It was fun and Alabama is not that far away, you know!
      I read that the Indians would boil the redbud blooms and then eat them. I only found that out when I was looking up the redbud tree info to tell GB about them and since that went along with my post, I was happy to find it out!

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  2. It looks really interesting, Kay. I believe we have a copy of Dee Brown's book, I will be sure to read it.

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    1. Dear Tracey,
      I loved that book and if you read about Dee Brown, I think people were surprised that he wrote this book as it was not really in his field of endeavour. (There, I spelled that last word with a "u" for you!) :-)

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  3. wow, what a wonderful event, I would have loved this, thanks so much for sharing,

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    1. Dear Laurie,
      You are welcome. Come along with me anytime!

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  4. This was really so very interesting. I love it that the history of the first Americans are kept alive this way. Thank you for sharing it with us. I do LOVE the splash of spring color that redbuds gave us in Illinois.

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    1. Aloha!
      You should have seen the children all wide-eyed looking at this exhibit, I hope they learned something, I know I did!
      Redbuds! I love them. I make a point to be under them when they bloom and I insist on having my photo with them, you would think it was a once in a lifetime thing!

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  5. Thanks for the information on the tree Kay. You mentioned red potatoes on the fire. I wonder if they are what in the UK we call sweet potatoes and in New Zealand kumera/kumara?

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    1. Hi, GB, no, the red potatoes we have in North America are similar to the King Edward and Shafter varieties of white potatoes sold in England, or perhaps Jersey Royals. The only difference is that the skins of these are red. I think the "meat" of the potato has a slightly creamier taste too. Yams and/or sweet potatoes are quite different.

      xoxo Carol

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    2. You are welcome, GB! And CC is correct, except I must differ and say (sorry if this offends) but there is nothing as good as a Jersey Royal potato!
      Of course, we know sweet potatoes in the South! My Dad makes the BEST sweet potato pie. Hands down, the best.
      Thanks, Canadian Chickadee, sorry, but I think I shall shorten you to CC, if that is okay with you!

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  6. It sounds like you learned a lot; thanks for passing it on to us!

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    1. I knew some of the info they gave us because of that book I told you about because of that book, "Indian Givers" but I learned some things that I did not know. And I believe that is what life is all about, I want to learn something new everyday! :-)

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  7. Like everyone else who commented before me, I have learnt something new from your blog (yet again!); I didn't know that "buck" (as in Dollar) comes from deer skin - of course, now that I know it, it makes sense, I just never thought about it before.
    Looking forward to the pictures of owls and other birds of prey!

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    1. Thanks, Meike! And you know we love our birds so this wildlife festival was right up our alley.
      .
      Having computer problens this morning. That is why my replies to comments have been taking so long! Frustrating!

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  8. Oh my, am I glad you popped into my blog, otherwise I might never have found you. I thoroughly enjoyed this post. It was so interesting and I have learned a lot from it. Lichen? Ooooh no thanks!

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    1. Hello Valerie!
      Oh yes, I am glad to find you! And thank you so much, there will be plenty to bore you, I mean inform you with in my posts! :-)
      MMMMM..Lichen for breakfast, but still, if we are lost in the woods, we might be grateful to know it, right?
      (Let's hope I don't get lost, I would be in big trouble!)

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  9. Hello.

    I'm always being surprised everytime I visit your blog. (with the new header pic) haha!

    I've always wanted to meet american indians. Do they speak english too? (sorry, that sounded like a dumb question)

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    1. Dear Denise,
      In fact, the other man there (I didn't get a picture of him) showed us the white man's knives replaced the stone arrows. Of course, they did speak English, and many of their words are in the English language and you don't even know it. (I might have to do another post now!) Look up the history of the Cherokees and read about the March they had to take called the "Trail of Tears" it is so sad.

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  10. What a wonderful adventure

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  11. Oooh, I would LOVE to have seen that demonstration. Too cool. I also love muscadines ~ we're able to get them at the Farmer's Market sometimes.....YUM.

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    1. Hey Audrey!
      You would have loved it, I did, so you know you would too! :-)
      Muscadines, that sounds better than lichen, right?

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  12. Oh, that looks like a lot of fun. But, you know, I have never even heard of muscadines!

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    1. Hey Jenny Woolf!
      Muscadines are like grapes, but the skins to them are thicker than grapes and I think they are only in the South (of the USA). You can find muscadines growing wild, and if you see a very long ropelike piece of wood hanging from a tree, it is most likely a very old dead muscadine vine.

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  13. What a fascinating experience. Your photos captured the feel of it all. Fun.

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    1. Thank you, it was fun and informative!

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  14. Many peoples used that Hot Stone style of cooking and it worked well. A place worth visiting, even though they were almost wiped out by greedy settlers. Flint tools are very sharp and arrowheads useful. In fact I could use one or two round here...
    Good post my dear.

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    1. Thank you! By the time that Indian woman had finished speaking with me, she had me almost convinced that I could live off the land and take care of myself if I got lost in the woods.
      We came back later, and they had cooked the corn and squash and were taking thin strips of meat and cooking it on the hot stones. It was lunchtime and it smelled so good.

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  15. This was such an interesting read. Would have loved to be there

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    1. Hello Lea!
      Thank you!
      Hope you are enjoying your new job!
      Can't type without an exclamation point!

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  16. Thats so lovely - I went to something like that in Calafornia in 2001. I still have the pictures up from it!

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    1. Thanks, Kate. I know you are busy but if you ever get the chance to read that book, you would like it, I am sure. The full title is "Indian Givers:How The Indians of the Americas Transformed The World". The author goes over the top a bit (you can tell by the title) but he gives some really good information in the book.

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  17. I'm just catching up on reading my favourite blogs, and I must say that I'm so glad I'm finally here reading this post! What a wonderful festival; just my kind of event. I'm always fascinated by the traditions of other cultures, and I think that the Native Americans were one of the most amazing. They really knew how to work with what Mother Nature has to offer. I love the way those feathers are arranged in that first image; very artistic, indeed. And I so enjoyed, dear Kay, all the information you shared from each photo. That handmade basket is adorable. One of my favourite things about the Native Americans (First Nations in Canada) is all the talents and skills they had, and all their beautiful creations. They knew how to survive and live off the land. Love the post, Kay. Looking forward to the post about the owls and the birds of prey.

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    1. Thank you! I knew you would like this post, Martha!
      Wish you could have been there with me. Their clothing looked so authentic, like something from a painting. And there was so much to see, I just wish my asthma had not been aggrevated by the smoke and I could have paid better attention!

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  18. I think the deer leg may be a pressure flaker, with the functional end being the pointed bone on the top and the rawhide providing a grip. The little farm I grew up on in Northern California was located atop an Indian village, and whenever we plowed, artifacts popped to the surface. I spent years wondering how they were made, until my lovely wife finally bought me some books that explained the process, including Flintknapping: Making and Understanding Stone Tools by John C. Whittaker. Flintknapping is a hobby of mine now, though I don’t spend nearly enough time on it.

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    1. Flintknapping and pressure flaker-terms I have never heard of before and I thank you for sharing this with me.
      In England, there are beautiful walls of flint and I am really more familiar with flint in England than I am in the USA! (And when I say England, I mean East Sussex!)

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    2. Flintknapping is actually a term that originated in England. A flintknapper was a trade name for someone who made flints for flintlock rifles. All the best flints still come from there. One of my old professors and a dear friend, Leslie Norris (the Welsh poet), brought me home a box of flint once. I don't know where he got it, but it was wonderful stuff.

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    3. Thank you so much for telling me this. I looked up Leslie Norris and lucky UTAH for having this poet to settle there and to remain and lucky YOU for having him as your friend.
      I have a photo of a church in Eastbourne and I am sure it is flint, I will have to do a post about it!

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  19. Hi Kay G! Thanks for visiting my blog! I love festivals and this time of year we have a bunch. This one looks really interesting and fun. Great pics! I love the redbud trees in the Spring. I have a couple and they just bring that season alive. Because of all the dry weather we've had many of our leaves are already turning color..looks more like Sept. than August! Have a great week!

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  20. Hi Kay G! Thanks for visiting my blog! I love festivals and this time of year we have a bunch. This one looks really interesting and fun. Great pics! I love the redbud trees in the Spring. I have a couple and they just bring that season alive. Because of all the dry weather we've had many of our leaves are already turning color..looks more like Sept. than August! Have a great week!

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    1. And thank you for visting my blog! You are the pretty lady who is 6 months older than her husband and both of you look so young and happy! :-)
      Hope you have a great week too!

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    2. I thought - that's not the most delicate thing to say to a lady - about being '6 months older than her husband', but then I visited Yaya's blog and see why you said that.
      Now I've added another blog to my 'following' list and it's your fault, Kay. Be prepared to be named and shamed in a future post for doing that! ;-)

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    3. Named and shamed, HA HA, would not be the first time!
      :-)

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  21. I read 'Bury my heart at wounded knee' years ago but only recently read 'Indian givers' - on your recommendation, I think. Like you, I would recommend them both.

    I'm back from holiday so hopefully I'm back visiting you again!

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    1. I am so glad that you read "Indian Givers"!
      That pleases me so much. And yes, I did recommend it to you! Glad you are back from holiday (why do Americans say "vacation" instead of "holiday"?) and you are getting back into the swing of things!

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  22. Very interesting post about the Native American Indians and the owls... we have a similar charity here in UK for wounded owls. I am going to look up the Indian Givers book, as I have an interest in NAI culture and their spirituality. Thank you for your lovely comments by the way x

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment. You have the most lovely blog. I love all the colors that you use in your home and crochet work. I think you are an artist!
      Let me know if you do read that book, I would be so tickled! :-)

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