Indigenous Heritage Day

September 14, 2019 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Historic St. Mary's City
18751 Hogaboom Ln
St Marys City, MD 20686
$10 adult; $9 senior; $6 youth; free to ages 5 and younger, and to Friends members
Visitor Center
(240) 895-4990

Explore and celebrate Indian lifeways and culture.  Learn skills, watch demonstrations, and gain a new appreciation for the people that called this land home before Maryland was founded.

11:00  Have you ever wondered how to make a fire without a match?  This demonstration will show you the tools and techniques necessary to get a flame started.  Afterwards, we invite you to give it a try.

12:00  Enjoy a performance by the Piscataway Indian Nation Singers and Dancers as they drum, dance, and teach the living traditions of the Piscataway.

1:00  Join us at the archery range and give one of the most ancient weapons a try.  Learn about the atlatl (throwing stick) and how it shaped humanity’s past.

2:00  Meet at the Nature’s Bounty area and take a short stroll around the Woodland Indian Hamlet.  Discover many different plants which the native Yaocomaco people would have used or eaten at this time of year.

3:00  Come to the Hearth area to learn how indigenous people not only harnessed fire as an efficient tool, but used its smoke for preserving all manner of things, including meats, vegetables, and animal hides.

Ongoing Activities  Most of the following activities are hands-on throughout the day:

  • Canoe Burning — Historic St. Mary’s City (HSMC) staff use fire as a power tool, and demonstrate burning out a dugout canoe.
  • Children’s Archery — Experience one of the basic hunting techniques used by the original settlers of the area.  HSMC staff will assist children with archery.
  • Clay Pottery — Keith Grenoble, Native Skills Technologist, demonstrates Late-Woodland Indian pottery techniques from up and down the East Coast.
  • Cordage — HSMC staff guide visitors on how to take plant materials and make cordage.
  • Food Processing and Cooking — HSMC staff demonstrate Woodland Indian cooking techniques.
  • Friction Fire Starting — Nate Salzman of Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum demonstrates how to start fire, using friction techniques.
  • Hide Tanning — HSMC staff demonstrate the softening of deerskin, using Woodland Indian techniques.
  • Nature’s Bounty — HSMC staff present a variety of domestic and wild foods eaten by the Woodland Indian people.
  • Stone and Bone Tool Use — Kirk Dreier, Director of Cromwell Valley Park in Parkville, Maryland, and veteran Stone Technologist, demonstrates stone tool manufacture.

Thank you to Kirk Dreier, Director of Cromwell Valley Park; Keith Grenoble, Native Skills Technologist; and Nate Salzman, Village Manager at Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum.

The Godiah Spray Tobacco Plantation and the Maryland Dove are closed today.