Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pow-Wow and Potlatch

Dakota's class studies a new topic in depth every month. September was dinosaurs, October was rocks and minerals, and November was all about Native Americans. Each of the students chose a tribe and had to do a research report and project on their chosen tribe. Dakota chose the Acoma (a Pueblo tribe). Since this is his third round with the report, he did really well, flying almost totally solo. We only helped with final editing and formatting.

For his project, he made these tiny items. The spear, bow, and arrows are toothpicks. He also made the little clay pot and beaded weaving because that tribe is known for those things. Other students' projects included models of villages, basket weaving, or small tepees.

After all that hard work, the kids got to have a pow-wow today. I asked Dakota what he was supposed to bring and, after first saying he didn't remember, and then thinking about it, he said he was supposed to bring the tablecloth. I thought it was a little odd that a pow-wow would require a tablecloth but he was pretty definite so I made a special trip to the store to get one anyway. The next morning, when I told the teacher I had the tablecloth, all she said was, "hmm, interesting". Dakota was supposed to bring a BLANKET to sit on! and FOOD to share! Luckily we live close enough that I was able to get home, grab some food, and still get back in time. The kids all sat on blankets with others in their tribes and told a little of what they had learned to visiting classes (3 classes at different times). They also shared food like carrots, sesame seeds, dried fruit and nuts with each other. They all did such a good job and I was so proud of Dakota. I just never quite know what to expect when he's the center of attention. Sometimes he acts up or he freezes. Not this time, though. He made his presentation and even thought of an Indian name for himself on the spur of the moment. Small Pig, as he shall henceforth be called, got quite a few laughs after announcing that name.

Tomorrow they will have a potlatch. Dakota will take some of our tumbled agates from last year. Everyone brings something and then they will all gift each other with their "wealth". I've said it before but it bears repeating. I really like Dakota's teacher.

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