Making Stone Tools to Connect with Past People: A Case Study in Active Learning about Lithics with the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians
Studies of embodied learning show that physical experiences which engage the sensory and motor processing parts of the brain enhance understanding and retention of concepts. Making an obsidian flake, rather than just seeing pictures of stone tools, is a memorable experience that can provide a tangible connection to the practices of past people. We present a case study in public outreach and pedagogy for the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians of Southern California. The original concept, created in a Lithics Analysis class at California State University, Northridge, was an in-service professional lithics program for the tribe’s cultural monitors. The tribe expressed a desire for a presentation that would appeal to all tribal members, including children. Through a family-oriented program, using accessible language and format, workshop participants learned about the deep history of lithic technology, mechanics of working with stone, and what we can learn from this cultural material. During a flintknapping demonstration, participants saw tools being created, watched obsidian slice through leather, and had an opportunity to make their own flakes. After two family-oriented workshops, the Fernandeño Tataviam invited us to conduct a more in-depth, professional program for their archaeological monitors. We present our experiences and lessons learned.
Cite this Record
Making Stone Tools to Connect with Past People: A Case Study in Active Learning about Lithics with the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians. Joanne Minerbi, Elisabeth Rareshide. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 445031)
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min long: -124.189; min lat: 31.803 ; max long: -105.469; max lat: 43.58 ;
Abstract Id(s): 21093