Pennsylvania Indians Festival
Visitors, including families, can explore fourteen activities and exhibits about Pennsylvania Native American daily life in the past. A furnished wigwam will be open. Visitors can try using a hunting stick, play a typical game or join in dancing. Demonstrations will be available of beading, flint knapping, making fire and stone tools and the use of the cattail plant. Children will learn about and recreate important Native American images.
A Messiah College botanist will talk about the native plants and animals used by local Indians for medicines, tools, ornaments and food. Experts in making Native American tools of stone and bone will also demonstrate cordage (rope) production using native plant materials. Dressed as an 1800 Lenape chief, one demonstrator will talk about Native American clothing. Visitors are invited to join in Lenape and other Indian dances. They will also see how Native Americans made fire and tools. Visitors can make music using Native Americans instruments such as rattles and drums.
Weather permitting; visitors may launch darts with an atlatl, once used by Native Americans to hunt game. The atlatl (or throwing stick) was invented more than 9000 years ago to propel spears/darts farther and faster. Kurt Carr, Senior Archaeologist with the State Museum, noted that use of the atlatl in North American died out after the invention of the more deadly bow and arrow over 1000 years ago. He and Jim Herbstritt oversee the archaeological excavations at the Mansion being undertaken by the Pa. Historical and Museum Commission. The archaeology will be ongoing during the festival; last year more evidence of the 1750s fort emerged with the discovery of a 1700s cannon ball and well.
Native American food sources will be on display, from crops such as corn, bean and sunflowers to gathered food such as berries, nuts and medicinal plants. Venison stew will be on sale with cornbread in limited quantities. A hot dog and food stand, a museum shop and picnic areas will be open.
Admission is$5 adult, $3 children, 5 & under free. The event will be held rain or shine; most areas are indoors. (Pre-register for Special Scout Hour. Questions? Email email@example.com.) Centennial Barn.