Friday, 30 May 2014

Daniel Boone's home

We just attended the last field trip of the year with our local homeschooling group and we went to Daniel Boone's last residence before he died.  This was actually his youngest son's Nathan's house but Daniel Boone and his wife lived with them for many years.

Found another St Louis birthday cake, I think we are nearly 2-3 dozen so far this year
Our tour guides were dressed up like characters of the period.  The young man we were told was a Homeschool graduate who is passionate about this period:)

The house is four story Georgian style house and the entire site is now owned by the Lindenwood University Heritage center

We were only able to see the 2 floors the kitchens and the second floor, no pictures were allowed inside:(
One of the interesting things I discover while touring the house  was how tea was imported to this country.  Since the kids and I are studying the revolutionary war and reading the Boston tea party, I always imagine that the tea thrown into the harbor was loose leaf tea, but it wasn't.  I did know it wasn't in teabags:)

The tea was compressed into large hard blocks to make for easier shipping. We were told that then the blocks of tea would be sold in smaller shapes like the sample I bought from the gift shop and the pioneers would use a knife to shave off a teaspoon or so into their mugs.  I am going to give this a try right after this post is done:)

Some activities the kids got to enjoy was playing Graces which was a hoop and stick game that was popular for this period

Potato sack races

stick and hoop races

It is hard keeping that hoop going on uneven ground according to MarioFan

Touching Beaver pelt and hearing stories of Daniel Boone as a fur trader

Entering a woodworkers cabin we were told that there were 3 specific axes that the pioneers needed and shown their differences and how they were used

Kids got to try their hands at smoothing out a piece of wood

Then we were told about the Kentucky long rifle and shown how it works

Looking at gun powder which was not as fine as it is these days, we were told.

That was one very loud shot, and look at all that smoke.  Can you imagine a battlefield of these guns going off and the smell of sulfur in the air:(
While Daniel Boone and his family lived on this property there were no other homes for miles around, however currently the University is adding period homes to the area with the hopes of making this a real pioneer village of Mo.  For this field trip we did not get to enter any of these homes but I hope to return for another visit and see the building we missed.  I am showing a few so you can see the different styles, we were told the houses are from this period and from about a 100 mile radius for this site.
Lawyers cabin


parish church

An interesting story was relied to us regarding the burial of Daniel Boone. It was said he died in his son's home and was buried about 15 miles away beside his wife who died about 13 years earlier.  However about 15 years after his death the state of Kentucky was celebrating its 50th birthday and realized that it founding father, Daniel Boone was not buried in its territory.  The Kentucky officials attempted to reach out to the Boone family to have his remains return and buried in Kentucky.  It is thought a distant relative gave permission but that Kentucky dug up the wrong two graves, although they claim to have the actual bones of Daniel Boone.  The state of MO contends they only have the bones of his wife and an unknown man.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Exploring the pacific islands

While in Hawaii we took the kids to the Polynesian Culture center which is run by the Church of Latter day Saints and its goal is to educate people on the ways of the all the Pacific Islands.  This was my second time visiting and it was a wonderful way for the children to see how the natives would have lived and experience many hands on activities to better understand the polynesian culture.  This post has a lot of pictures and still there is more I could show...such a great learning center for getting a feel for the Polynesian islands!!

The highlight of the center is the River boat ceremony where each island is represented and people perform dances from their islands.  Each country had a unique way of dressing and dancing
Throughout our visit we kept hearing about the importance of the Taro plant to the native peoples, here at the center we saw what the plant look like and how it is turned into Poi

It is purple in cole

It is peeled and boiled until soft 

and then using a mortal and pestle it is beaten until it forms a thick paste.    I thought it tastes pretty bland, but my kids wouldn't try it today

There were lots of children island games that the kids could explore.  I can't remember the names of the all

even games for the adults to enjoy

These sticks were used during some of the dances in addition to being used as a game

Another great coordination game

We also got a few music lessons such as the ukulele  which is not a native instrument but the Hawaiians have made and given it a very unique sound
Learning to play some traditional drums
Learning how to craft some palm leaf toys
Throwing native spears which is much harder than it looks:)

Learning about cooking and tasting some yummy coconut bread

fishing the native way and no sooner than my husband said he didn't think there were any fish to be caught in the pond

Firedrake made the only catch out of the four of us:)

Every village had a different feel of it.  Every hut was decorated differently using the materials they had on the island.  This one used plant fiber and made it like paper and painted them elaborate designs 

Where other huts used palm leaves to weave woven mats to hang on the floor, and walls.
The more elaborately decorated the higher the status of the person or family that lived inside

Here we saw how the fibers of the plant were pounded into paper

IT was a long process of beating the fibers thinner and thinner and adding more fiber to make it wider and wider

the person making the fiber cloth determined the width of the cloth (or the person ordering it did)

Next seed husks were used as paintbrushes to paint designed which were usually brown or black in color

Watching a man use the palm leaves to make baskets, make rope and other items.  The resources of this plant for the island people is incredible

large baskets to store or carry items in

We saw many traditional dances performed

Including my favorite the Hakka from New Zealand

Exploring the vessels that made it to the islands, it was hard to imagine that some of these vessels made such long voyages
We spent the whole day here, getting there when it opened and closing it down 7 hours later.  We were all exhausted but what a fantastic place to learn all about the pacific islands.