You are not logged in.
Students experience Ancient Cherokee Days at CHC
Students learn how pottery was made by Cherokees in 1710 during Ancient Cherokee Days at the Cherokee Heritage Center in Park Hill, Okla. The children were able to participate in the hands-on activity by making their own pottery.PHOTO BY TESINA JACKSON
By TESINA JACKSON
Mon, Oct 11, 2010
PARK HILL, Okla. – On Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, more than a thousand students from schools within the Cherokee Nation jurisdiction experienced what Cherokee culture was like from 1600-1710 by in the Cherokee Heritage Center’s Ancient Cherokee Days.
“Our mission at the Cherokee Heritage Center is to promote, preserve and teach Cherokee history and culture, and this is the perfect venue to do that for this age group,” said CHC Education Director Tonia Weavel. “The best way is to let them participate. Let them see it. Let them smell the fires. Let them take part what was once our daily life.”
For the past nine years, the CHC has hosted the Ancient Cherokee Days every autumn at its Ancient Village to show students how Cherokees once lived before European intrusion.
“It’s one of the most important things I do at the Heritage Center,” Weavel said. “In order to relay and educate school children about Cherokee culture, and to do it in a way that they enjoy and that they can participate in, I think it’s one of the most fundamental things that the heritage center does.”
The CHC staff, several Talking Leaf Job Corps students and members of the Cherokee Nation Education Corporation took part in running this year’s event.
In a basket-weaving activity, students learn and practice how to make a basket the way Cherokees did in the 1600s at the Cherokee Heritage Center’s Ancient Cherokee Days. PHOTO BY TESINA JACKSON
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and for an admission of $5, students in grades kindergarten through 12 from area schools got to participate in Cherokee cultural games such as blowgun shooting, stickball, marbles and chunkey.
“We try to choose activities that are relevant to life in 1710,” Weavel said. “Recently our village changed time frames from the early 1600s to 1710, which is the time frame we’ve opted to show the Ancient Village lifestyle.”
Other events students participated in were pottery making, basket weaving, food grinding, face painting and drawing. Other cultural stations introduced children to the Cherokee language, Cherokee ceremonies clan relationships and storytelling. Sequoyah High School students, who performed the Cherokee legend “Why the Possum’s Tail is Bare”, performed one of the stories told this year.
“I find that being part of the Ancient Cherokee Days is very important for students because they come from miles around and not only do they learn about Cherokee cultural, Cherokee crafts but they also get to see a Cherokee story that’s entertaining and funny,” SHS drama teacher Amanda Ray said. “It’s just a good experience for students all over the place.”