Everyone needs something that gets them excited! I love primitive skills...welcome to my journey.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Archaeologists roughly date the Archaic Period, in North America, around 5000 to 1000 BC. Big game hunters and game of the Clovis, Folsom, and Plano had disappeared - mammoth, ancient bison, and giant ground sloths. New techniques and tools for hunting smaller game, such as deer, antelope, fish, and fowl appeared. The people began to develop traits of the foraging tradition - they were no longer just hunters, but not yet farmers. The presense of mortars and grinding stones meant that plant seeds and nuts were being utilized, probably as well as roots and berries. Pictured is grinding acorn meats. A few white oaks have acorns sweet enough to be eaten raw, but most are extremely bitter due to a chemical called tannin. Tannin is water soluable and can be removed by boiling the meats in several changes of water - until the brownish coloring no longer appears. Native Americans would also put the crushed meats in porous bags in moving streams, to leech out the tannin. The Pawnee called acorns from the bur oak, Patki - natawawi, meaning "acorn bearing." Often the acorns would be used in combination with corn meal to make it more palatable. They did not use seasonings, so to make the traditional gruel or mush, acorn meal was simply mixed with water.
I've been interested in primitive skills ever since I read Larry Dean Olsen's book, Outdoor Survival Skills, decades ago. The past 10 years, or so, I have been striving to learn the skills...flintkapping, hide working, friction fires, edible & medicinal plants, etc. Having gained some proficiency, I have been demonstrating and teaching at historical events and gatherings. It is a never ending journey.