Native American Day Saturday at MKPM

Thursday, September 22, 2016
A crowd gathers around the flint-knapping demonstration at the 2015 Native American Day at MKPM.(TD file photo)

A popular local event returns this weekend, as the Matilda and Karl Pfeiffer Museum and Study Center will host the 13th annual "Native American Day" Saturday, Sept. 24. Activities are scheduled from noon to 3 p.m. on the grounds of the museum, located at 1071 Heritage Park Drive, Piggott. In keeping with tradition, there will be no house tours for the day and there is no charge for admission to the event. The afternoon will include free hot dogs and sodas, games and crafts for kids, souveners from the musuem store and authorities on the subject of Native Americans.

Returning once again this year is R. W. "Dub" Lyerly, from Ash Flat, an amateur archeologist and expert on Native American artifacts. Lyerly has worked on various archeological digs and spent many years learning the history of the early inhabitants of northeast Arkansas. He will be available to answer questions and identify artifacts guests bring to the event. Museum staff noted the public is invited to bring in artifacts to be identified, and to find out how they were used by residents of the region hundreds, or even thousands, of years ago.

Knappers will also be on hand to demonstrate knapping, the process Native Americans used to produce arrowheads or other stone points and tools. The museum is also pleased to have scouts and leaders from "Venture Crew 248" in attendance again this year. As they have in years past, this group of scouts from Chaffee, Mo., will perform authentic Native American dance in full regalia. The group performs and competes nationally, and visitors are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs and sit back and enjoy the performance. The scouts will also set up tepees complete with blankets, hides and other items essential to daily life. They will also have displays and demonstrations of Native American crafts in an effort to educate those attending.

Dennis Coop, of Sherwood, performs on one of his many Native American flutes during last year's event at the Matilda and Karl Pfeiffer Museum. Coop will return for this year's observance, and will once again be featuring the unique musical instruments.(TD file photo)

They will also offer a new feature this year, as members of "Venture Crew 248" will instruct the younger guests on how to make a beaded choker and a coup feather. "These will be for the guests to keep as a memento of their visit to the 2016 Native American Day event," one organizer observed.

PHS Art instructor, Jerri Tate, and art students from Piggott Public Schools, will also be on hand to assist our younger guests in making pinch pots, a primitive form of clay pottery. Tate and her students have been involved in the event for a number of years, and the pinch pots have proved to be a popular offering.

Another favorite will be returning this fall for the third time, as folk musician Dennis Coop, from Sherwood, will once again be demonstrating Native American Flute usage. Coop performs on a variety of period flutes, many produced by Native Americans using the processes their forefathers employed. He'll be performing traditional Native American music, along with popular tunes. He'll also be discussing the flutes with those on hand, and answering questions.

"All our guests volunteer their time with a common goal: to educate the public and create an interest in the history and culture of Native Americans," the organizer added. "The public is invited, and encouraged to attend."

Those wanting additional information on the Native American Day may contact the museum at 870 598-3228.

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