Robins honors Native American history and heritage

  • Published
  • By Wayne Crenshaw
  • 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Starting a small fire ordinarily wouldn't amount to much of a spectacle, but the way Scott Jones does it drew a mesmerized crowd at an event held Nov. 5.

Using only two pieces of wood, a string and some cedar-bark shavings, Mr. Jones quickly managed to get a fire started, wowing about a dozen people gathered around. He gave the demonstration at the Primitive Skills Demonstration and Corn Roast. The event was one of several being held at Robins in November in recognition of Native American Heritage Observance Month.

Mr. Jones also showed various tools and weapons that Native Americans would have used, including a "rabbit stick," similar to a boomerang that would have been thrown to kill a rabbit.

Firstst Lt. Leodanny Garcia, a native of Miami with no Native American ancestry, said he got involved in organizing the NAHO events at Robins because he wanted to learn about Native American history in the area.

"I did not know this base sits on Native American archaeology sites," he said. "I've come across people on the base, civilians and military, that had Native American ancestry. It's awareness and looking back on the contributions that Native Americans have made."

Those who attended the event also enjoyed free roasted corn. Also base archeologist Stephen Hammack, along with John Trussell, a member of the Ocmulgee Archaeological Society, identified Native American artifacts brought in by visitors. Judging from the style, they determined an arrowhead that a woman reported finding near the Flint River to be nearly 10,000 years old.

"We don't get into how much things are worth," Mr. Hammack said. "We are students of the people who made them."

The event was the first of the month associated with the observance.

Other upcoming events include: A showing of "Brother Bear" at 2 p.m., Saturday at the Base Theater; Native American Culture lectures at Tucker Elementary in Perry and Robins Elementary School; and a Native American Heritage Observance Month Luncheon Nov. 25 at the Heritage Club Ballroom with Diamond Brown of the Ocmulgee National Monument to be the guest speaker.