American Indian heritage programs continue at state park

Saturday, August 6, 2011
(Sarah Reed/Democrat-News)

Saturday afternoon American Indian heritage programs continued with lessons in basket weaving at Van Meter State Park Aug. 6.

This weekend, 14 participants shaped natural materials such as cattails, water reeds and big bluestem into functional items used by American Indians.

"You get to take your time," said Barbara Harris of Rothville, for whom Saturday was her first basket weaving experience.

Using rustic materials can take time, according to Connie Grisier, historic site specialist. Once the bases of baskets were woven, participants bent the grasses upward to dry. This process creates the initial shape.

The park will host Primitive Fishing at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13. This program will be the final hands-on heritage program for the summer, and participants will learn techniques used by the Missouria Indians as well as make bone fish hooks and primitive cordage.

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