Sticks for Shaking and Talking

Two of the many fascinating projects Drew has worked on with the kids this year are the creation of rawhide rattles and a talking stick.

From Drew via the Teachers' Journal:

Started the day with our morning thanksgiving and moved on to our activity of the day. Today I brought with me a huge sheet of cow rawhide with the intent of making rattles for the boys and a knife sheath for my newly acquired reproduction Dutch trade knife. Boys were very attentive with only a little complaint from Silas. Silas got the fire going and we got the pot on the coals to get the water to heat so that it would soften the hide. Boys had a good time coloring their handles of their rattles; Silas put on many of the Lakota dictionary symbols taught to him by Rick. The boys did an awesome job at sewing and needed very little help.

For the talking stick, they learned how to make beads out of soap stone. They also incorporated other precious objects they had collected like bones and feathers. Again from Drew:

Today the boys and I built a talking stick (an object used by many traditional cultures throughout the world to be used by a speaker so that everyone's voice is heard). I explained each part to the boys and their placement from the wood to the feathers. The boys liked this and enjoyed making the pieces... We got to experiment with the pine pitch, putting some on the stove and smelled it; amazingly it had a smell strongly reminiscent of frankenscence and turpentine.

The following day's journal entry from Drew:

Started the day by explaining the talking stick to Ender and Connor and did a story exercise after I told some traditional stories and had the boys make up their own...