Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Knife River Flint


When early man crossed the landscape he sought out quality stone to make tools.  Stone was needed to form chopping edges, bits for boring holes in wood and bone, scrapers for cleaning hides, and sharp and pointed edges for cutting and piercing.  Located near Dunn Center, North Dakota, is a prehistoric quarry of dark brown rock.  Knife River Flint has been used for thousands of years.  Clovis points have been unearthed dating back 10,000 years.  Artifacts of Knife River Flint have been found from Montana to New York, Canada to New Mexico.  Pictured is a projectile point and several spalls of Knife River Flint.

Novaculite Neck Knife/Sheath

I’ve been putting together some knives and made this 6-inch white/black novaculite knife, and buckskin neck sheath.  Novaculite comes in a variety of colors but I especially like the black and black/white combination.  This unique rock is only found in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas and Oklahoma.  Native Americans used this resource to make tools to chop, drill, scrape, and cut for every day survival.  Later, settlers in the area used novaculite for whetstones.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Monday, March 5, 2018

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Edible Insects Class @Bois D' Arc

 I attended the Bois D' Arc Primitive Skills Camp & Knap In, in Missouri, in 2017.  One of the reasons I attended was to participate in the Edible Insects class, conducted by Bo Brown.  We gathered in the early morning, and set out walking the perimeter of a open field looking for bugs.  We managed to find grasshoppers, crickets, grubs, and some wolf and orb spiders.  We even opened some mud dabber nests to harvest the larvae.  I've eaten bugs before but I still have some mental blocks eating insects, that require making a "shift".   Bo Brown preached that all life is precious, and encouraged us to give thanks for their sacrifice that we might learn  and be nourished.  We took the wings and lower hooked legs off the grasshoppers, and cooked the insects to kill any parasites.  I watched one young participant, Celeste, tentatively eat a wolf spider, and then go on to clean up any left overs.  Eating insects is all a state of mind.  I thought it was interesting that the United Nations released a paper years ago stating that using insects as a protein source would become a necessity to feed growing populations.  Insects are highly nutritious in protein and vitamins compared equally to beef.  Many native populations relied on the seasonal crops of insects to supplement their food sources. This summer I look forward to the influx of June bugs, a staple of some of Plains Indians.

Bois D' Arc Primitive Skills Camp & Knap In

I had been looking at the Bois D' Arc Primitive Skills Camp & Knap-In for a few years, and finally had the chance to attend in September of 2017.  What a great setting, in a dale at the historic Hulston Mill, near Greenfield, Missouri.  IHALA (Interior Highlands Ancestral Lifeways Association), founded by primitive skill enthusiast, Bo Brown, hosts this annual event - now numbering 20 years.  This is a gathering of several hundred flintknappers, vendors, and primitive skill artisans, open to the public.  Students gathered in the morning, over a three day period, to sign up for classes - available were flintknapping, bow making, primitive fishing technics, edible and medicinal plants, traps & snares, edible insects, darts & atlatls, basketry, etc.  There was a little bit of something for everyone.The evenings were filled with laughter and music, as musicians and drumming circles played into the night.  The local historic society, which maintains the Hulston Mill, runs a snack shack for anyone wanting to buy a meal, drinks, or ice. The camping area is abundant with plenty of room for some seclusion.  The 21st annual is scheduled for September 28 - 30, 2018.  Check out their website at: