Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Native Americans & the French and Indian War

In March we spent time learning about Native American history in North Carolina.  There is so much that could be covered that we just did an overview of history from early times until the present.  This is how we have covered a lot of history so far - giving the big picture and then we will be able to go back later and fill in more details.  

Interspersed in the discussion about Native Americans, we played a game of Wheel of Fortune.  I wrote the blanks to represent the name of one of the tribes from our state.  They took turns guessing letter to see if they could figure it out.  

Most of the information was presented as stories about people.  That really is what history is about - stories.  It's part of why I enjoy history so very much!

We also watched a video on the Lost Colony.  

We also spent a little more time on the French and Indian War since we planned to visit a site later in the month commemorating this war.  We watched some videos from the state site on the French and Indian War.  

I wish we had been able to watch this longer PBS video on the Trail of Tears.  I watched the first half to see if there was any way to just watch clips of it.  The story was riveting and so many emotions washed over me as I heard this story.  Anger, frustration and great sadness.  

We also spent some time learning about some of the larger tribes located in NC and mapped where they lived.  

This field trip happened on a Saturday since it was a major even at the site.  It was nice to have some of the Dads join us on the trip!  We went to Fort Dobbs, a wonderful site near Statesville.  This is the second time we have attended this event and I highly recommend going if you are able to.
When we met to start our drive to the site, it was raining.  My friends had heard that it was going to rain all day.  And indeed it rained for 2 hours while we drove there.  I was not excited about spending the day in the rain, but we went ahead and made the trip and I'm so glad that we did!  Unfortunately for the site, the crowd was much smaller than they had anticipated.  It was a nice day for us to be there though.

Even though the day started gloomy and chilly, the rain held off and it warmed up nicely by the afternoon.
 We got there early and just wandered around for awhile waiting for the events to start.  We were able to talk with the interpreters about some of the things we saw.  This was a sign marking an Indian party that had been through the area.  Each of the pictures shows something about the party.  In this particular one, I think the animals noted to what group the people belonged.  The people indicated the number in the party - you can see male, female and child.   The headless ones were captives.  The "ladder" showed how many days from home there were.
 This one was from a hunting party.  (I really should type these right after we attend so that all the details are clear in my head.)
 Did I mention that the interpreters here are fabulous!  Interesting and easy to talk with about any questions you may have.
 The boys are ready for a fun day.
 A couple of them were recruited to bring up a heavy long to a Native American that needed it.
 Eliana finds a path and sets off to explore.

 We learned about music during this time period (mid-1700s).  Some fascinating instruments that made beautiful music.
 A type of bagpipe that he played by squeezing the air in the bag instead of blowing into it.
 Musket demonstration is always exciting.  A musket ball was passed around so that everyone could feel the size and weight of it.

 Information was always presented in a great way - engaging and not so long that the children lost interest.  Did I mention how very good these interpreters are?
 Ready ... fire!
 He also discussed the bayonets and how they were used and why marching so close was an effective strategy given the weapons of the time.
 The man was fascinating and we spent a long time listening to him talk in his role as Peace Chief of a Cherokee tribe.  He stayed in character the entire time he talked and shared a lot about the customs of the Cherokee and why they did the things that they did.  Again, fascinating!
 The men slit their earlobes and stretched them to accommodate large adornments.
 Eliana is not quite sure what to make of all of this.

 Joshua was part of a demonstration of how captives were taken and held.  His foot was secured in the cut of a tree so that he couldn't run.
 His arms and neck were tied with two ropes - each attached to a Native American warrior on either side.
 In the afternoon, some of us enjoyed a game of cricket.

 Others enjoyed looking around the sutlers shops.
 The one that sold games was a favorite of everyone's.
 And yes, I did come home with a new game.  We've been to so many of these events and historical sites that I often find that we have a lot of the games (especially colonial).  We did find a new one though that will help with math skills.  That's always a good thing, right?
 Eliana and her Daddy making friends wherever they go.
 Joshua and Daniel are given the opportunity to make a cartridge.
 Can't you just see the delight on Daniel's face.
 There was a magic show under the tent that was fun and well attended.  I couldn't make it in so I stayed outside with Eliana and sent my camera in.  :-)

 Reading about the history.
 Suttler's tents.  These are merchants selling all sorts of period items from clothing to toys, cookware to candles, trunks to weapons (not real) and more!
 Lots of interesting things to see and a good place to buy things if you are a reenactor.  Just being here reminded Joshua that he wanted to do this.  We had started exploring the idea of doing this when I was pregnant with Eliana.  Obviously, we haven't yet followed up on it.  I did see a number of families at this event.  I do think it would be a lot of fun!
 A clay oven used to bake bread.
 Rebecca and Hanna testing out their new slingshots.
 A wonderful day!  I'm so glad we didn't let the weather dictate our decision to go because we would have missed out on a lot of fun!
 I highly recommend attending one of their events.  To learn more you can visit their website.

Fort Dobbs State Historic Site

Have fun exploring your world!