Left to Right: Doug Wood demonstrates crayfish poisoning with black walnuts.
Aaron Bosnick spears a shell cracker (freshwater drum) with a deer scapula spear.
Ed Robey helps children feel a drum's pharyngeal teeth that crack mussel shells.
Dianne Anestis feeds the entire Monongahela village from her prehistoric range (rock pit oven and stick grill).
American Indian Heritage Weekend at Meadowcroft Rockshelter is cancelled for 2017. Watch to see if this very popular event returns in 2018.
The Monongahela Tradition village site got a NEW FACELIFT in 2014. The event in 2016 during the last week of September was as fun and educational as ever.
2016 event highlights
The 2016 event held September 27-28 near Avella, PA (http://www.heinzhistorycenter.org/meadowcroft.aspx ) was a success. The public turnout was just under 2,000 visitors. Ten costumed living history interpreters demonstrated numerous life skills pertinent to prehistoric and 18th century American Indians in the Ohio Valley region. At the cooking area, Dianne interpreted and cooked a great variety of animal and plant resources that were available in the late summer season in one or another era. The extensive food list that Dianne worked with follows:
Crayfish (both hand caught and store bought)*
Cherrystone clams (store bought instead of freshwater mussels, which are illegal to possess)
Chinese chestnut (to represent American chestnuts)*
Sassafras berries & roots*
White walnut (Butternut)*
Corn (milk stage, dried, & hominy)*
*indicates these foods were collected by the living history presenters.
At the waterfront, Doug, in prehistoric fishing mode, was joined by Ed Robey, who manned the food processing area and snare trap demonstration while Doug demonstrated fishing techniques.
Via his extensive hunting/gathering/networking skills, Todd Johnson was able to procure Black Bear carcasses from the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Even the gutting process became public interactive with modern hand sanitizer on-hand. The staff at Meadowcroft was very helpful, as usual, so we owe them a big “thank you” or “thank y’uns” in the southwest PA vernacular. We hope the Meadowcroft American Indian Heritage Weekend returns in 2018 to remain high on our list of living history favorites.