Native American Day Saturday at MKPM

Thursday, September 24, 2015
Flautist Dennis Coop will once again be at the Native American Day, set for Saturday, at the Karl and Matilda Pfeiffer Museum in Piggott. Coop performs on hand-made flutes, designed to match those played hundreds of years ago.(file photo)

The trustees and staff of the Matilda and Karl Pfeiffer Museum will host their 12th annual Native American Day this weekend. Normally held in mid-September, this year the event is being held from noon to 3 p.m. this Saturday, Sept. 26. The Native American Day activities are being held on the museum grounds, at 1071 Heritage Park Drive in Piggott.

No house tours will be offered that day, and there is no charge for admission. In keeping with tradition there will be free hot dogs and sodas, games and crafts for the kids and souvenirs from the museum store. And, once again R.W. "Dub" Lyerly, of Ash Flat, will be on hand to authenticate and discuss artifacts.

Lyerly is an amateur archeologist, and has worked on archeological digs and spent many years learning the history of the early inhabitants of Northeast Arkansas. He'll be available to answer questions and identify artifacts for those attending, and the public is invited to bring in artifacts to be identified.

Knappers will also demonstrate knapping, the process Native Americans used to produce arrowheads and other cutting tools. The knappers are also very knowledgeable in the history of the Native Americans of Northeast Arkansas, and will be available to answer questions as well.

The museum is also pleased to have Scouts from "The Order of the Arrow" again this year. This group of scouts from the Cape Girardeau area will once again perform authentic Native American dance in full regalia.

This group performs and competes nationally, and the public is invited to bring their lawn chairs and enjoy the performance.

The Scouts will also set up tepees complete with blankets, hides and other items essential to the daily lives of those who occupied this land hundreds of years ago. They will also have displays and demonstrations of Native American crafts.

Art instructor Jerri Tate, and art students from Piggott Schools, will again be on hand to assist younger guests in making pinch pots, a primitive form of clay pottery. The offering has become a popular annual event, and hundreds of pots have been made in years past.

And, returning for the second year in a row is folk musician Dennis Coop, from Sherwood, will be demonstrating Native American flutes. Coop will be performing one several of his many flutes, which he makes by hand from a variety of woods.

Last year Coop displayed his flutes, and performed throughout the afternoon, which proved to be very popular with those in attendance. He performs on both flutes made by Native Americans and those based on old designs.

Native American Day has been held the past 11 years at the local museum in an effort to educate the public, and create an interest in the history and culture of Native Americans. In addition to a world class display of gems, minerals and crystals the local museum also boasts an extensive collection of Native American artifacts, most from Clay County. Those wanting additional information about the Native American Day, or the museum in general, may call 870 598-3228.

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