Friday, December 16, 2011

a day in the life of Eternal Alligator

Today I got to go on the 4th grade field trip with Ethan (indian name: Nanemi Itori, or Eternal Alligator) to the Morningside Nature Center, where we learned about the Timucua indians, who are now extinct.
Most of the information about them came from French and Spanish explorer's journals. The Indians used this large hut to hold counsels and other important meetings. But their building was much, much bigger than this one (I thought the lady said 4 times bigger, Eternal Alligator thought it was 10 times bigger).

We learned the Indian's history up to 12,000 years ago. By 1831 there were only a few left. Sad history of a strong, successful society.

 We went to the kitchen hut, and learned which plants were edible, and how to prepare them. Ethan got to smash acorns with a stick and bone, and grind up root with a rock.

 He tilled a garden with a bone, then planted a few corn kernels. Then he ate something like grits and dried berries off a seashell. He said "no thank you" to the tea they passed around.

 Yes, we raise paper mache deer in the swamp. They are much easier to shoot with imaginary bows and arrows than real deer are. But they probably don't taste as good. Luckily our imaginary arrows missed this deer and we didn't have to eat it.

 Here is the living quarters, where we learned how to cut down a tree without axes (burn the lower portion, then push it over), how to hollow out a log for a canoe (burn the top and scrape the insides out) and how to make soft leather (don't just wash it and let it dry, rub the animals brains all over it!). All useful stuff :)

It was so much fun to hang out with Eternal Alligator all day, and fascinating to learn about some successful people who are now extinct. I'm glad the Alligator still wants his old mom around even though he won't hold my hand anymore!


  1. So if we become extinct, does that mean we were successful?

  2. Isn't that how all successful societies end? :)