March 8 – 9, 2013
13th Annual Knap-in Features Hands-on Activities for All Ages
UA’s Moundville Knap-in, March 8 and 9, is a great event for anyone interested in Native Americans, ancient technologies or outdoor sports such as hunting and fishing. Held at Moundville Archaeological Park, 13 miles south of Tuscaloosa, stone toolmakers, artists and ancient technology experts from around the country hammer out stone points, carve intricate pieces, throw spears and shoot bows. Kids can get their faces painted, grind corn or play Native American games.
Flintknapping is an ancient technology used by nearly all Stone Age people. Native Americans made most of their weapons and many of their tools from stone prior to Europeans arriving in the New World. Very quickly, native people set aside flintknapping in favor of metal implements to the point where the technology was almost lost. In the last 25 years, however; hundreds, if not thousands of people have revived the process, passing their knowledge down from one person to another in much the same way as the ancients did.
Flintknapping is based on the principle of how glass breaks. Imagine what a windowpane looks like when it’s been shot with a BB pellet. Where the BB goes into the pane the hole is small. As the pellet goes through the glass, a cone shaped piece pops out. Using these laws of physics, knappers create any number of tools or weapons. Spear and arrow points, knives, scrapers, drills and spokeshaves are just a few things Indians from our area made using this technology.
A children’s area, where kids can make crafts, play games and have their faces painted will be open and running throughout the knap-in. Other outdoor demonstrations and displays include ancient hunting and fishing equipment. Visitors will also get a chance to test out a spear thrower or toss rabbit sticks in the nearby target range. Juanita Gardinski, of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, is providing food concessions including some longtime favorite Native American foods like frybread, Indian tacos, buffalo stew, catfish and hominy. Other Choctaw crafts such as basket making and beadwork will also be demonstrated as will the Southeastern Indian tradition of shell carving. Premiere shell carver Dan Townsend of Tallahassee, Florida demonstrates, exhibits and sells his one of a kind pieces.
There are about as many different ways to knap as there are flintknappers. Some knappers use only tools made out of stone or bone to fashion their points. Others use copper covered, lead weighted billets they call “boppers” to hammer on their stone. Lapidary knappers use rock saws and heavy duty grinders to preshape their pieces prior to removing flakes.
For more information, call 205-371-8732 or email email@example.com. We hope to see you there!