Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ohio's Archaic Heritage: Atlatl and Bannerstones #NativeAmerican #Ohio #History

Archaic Indian Hunting with Atlatl


Pt 1:
Atlatl and Bannerstones

Ohio's Paleoindian Cultures flourished in the region as the glaciers dramatically changed the landscape around them. The glacial carving of Ohio's landscape had not happened overnight. The Northern state had been covered by glaciers three times in prehistoric times, making much of the land inhabitable. You can see a glacial map of Ohio and how each of the three glaciers remained in Ohio at this http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/portals/10/pdf/glacial.pdf 

Ohio's Paleoindian culture disappeared from Ohio around the same time as the Archaic Culture emerges. The Archaic Culture inhabited Ohio from 8,000 B.C to 500 B.C. The Paleoindian lifestyle had depended upon the cold, harsh glacial climate much as the Eskimo's lifestyle depends upon the harsh surroundings they live in today. When the last glacier retreated back into Canada it not only left a new different landscape but a climate change as well. Over the years, the climate became warmer and thicker. Thick forests grew throughout the region. The Mastodons, Mammoths and other large mammals the Paleoindians had depended upon for food had been driven to extinction by over hunting and the climate change by 12,700 years ago. With the loss of their food source, a climate change and a new landscape the Paloindian way of life could no longer sustain the people. 

During the beginning of the Archaic Period the Archaic Culture resembled their Paleoindian ancestors as they continued to be nomadic. With the extinction of the larger mammals, the Archaic people depended upon smaller game, such as deer and rabbits, for food. They also fished in lakes and streams,  and gathered berries and nuts to supplement their diet. 

Hunting techniques and technology changed in order to for the shift from larger mammal to smaller mammal hunts. During the Paleoindian Period hunting was a group effort due to the size of the prey. Smaller game hunts meant that a man could hunt on his own. He also had a new weapon - the atlatl. 

Although this video compares the atlatl with a bow and arrows, the bow and arrow would not be invented in North America until 2,000 years ago. Europeans had been using the atlatl from more than 30,000 years ago but the weapon was not discovered in North America until 12,000 years ago. 

The atlatl revolutionized the way humans hunted and went to war. It allowed the warrior/hunter to throw their spear much farther than ever before. You can read more about the weapon by visiting this link http://www.hollowtop.com/atlatlbob.htm.

An artifact most commonly found in Ohio that may have been used with the atlatl is a bannerstone. The
A Bannerstone found in Ohio.
US Public Domain
 bannerstone is a symmetrically carved ground stone with a hole drilled in the center. They are found in all shapes and sizes, including some that are butterfly shaped such as the one pictured. There are many debates as to what the bannerstones were used for. Some believe they were used as ceremonial pieces or weights while other contest the bannerstone was used for drilling, cordage making, or fire making. Robert S. Berg and William S. Webb believe the bannerstone was part of the atlatl or was used to repair  it.

Authors Richard R. Townsend and Robert V. Sharp of Hero, Hawk, and Open Hand: American Indian Art of the Ancient Midwest and South stated in their book "“[bannerstones’] craftsmanship and materials suggest that they also served as emblems of prestige and status conferred upon hunters coming of age, and as supernatural talismans for increasing the spear-throwers efficacy. They may also have served as emblems of clans or other social units”.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Ohio's Paleoindians #history #ohio #NativeAmerican

Paynes Prarie Preserve State Park
By: ryan griffis @http://www.flickr.com/photos/grifray/435635066/

Life in 
Ohio's Pleistocene

A few weeks ago I had presented to you a blog posting concerning the first inhabitents of Ohio. These Native Americans were known as Paleoindians. The Paleoindian Period of history lasted between 13,000 -7,000 B.C. The earliest evidence of human occupation in Ohio dates to 13,000 B.C. Ohio's Paleoindian period overlaps with the introduction of the Archaic Native Americans arriving in Ohio around 8,000 B.C. Scientist had hypothesis that the Younger Dryas impact may have eliminated the paleoindians yet this is still being researched. You can read more about it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Younger_Dryas_event Whatever the cause may have been for the destruction of the Paleoindians in Ohio there is no archeaological evidence to support their existence in Ohio past 7,000 B.C.

Ohio during the Paleolitic Period was different than the Ohio we know today. Lake Erie and the Ohio
River did not exist before the glaciers came to Ohio. Instead Ohio had one major river, The Teays River. You can learn more about Ohio's Ancient Nile River at http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/parks/magazinehome/magazine/sprsum04/teaysriver/tabid/364/Default.aspx

Map of Landscape Before the Paleoindian Period
KET Television

This video is from the Kentucky Educational Television and shows how the glaciers formed the Ohio River. http://www.teachersdomain.org/asset/ket08_vid_ohioriver/

Thirteen thousand years ago, the northern part of the state was completely covered by a glacier. Only 1/3 of the state was free from ice. It was very cold and moist. This slowly began to change as the glaciers retreated. The glaciers formed the Great Lakes.

Between 10,000 to 9,000 B.C, the northwestern portion of Ohio was covered by clumps of dwarf willow growing aling the river banks. There were many small groves of spruce, pine, aspen, and fir trees separated by open ground. Mastodons, mammoths, elk, caribou, deer, giant beaver and caribou lived in this region. The Paleoindian hunters would often hunt in this region in order to provide for their families.  Although several prehistoric animals and Paleoindian points have been found throughout Ohio there has never been a Paleoindian point found with the remains of the animals dated to the Paleoindian Period. The Paleoindians favored hunting Caribou and possibly hunted them using the same methodology that current Eskimo groups in Alaska use today. If we study the Eskimos and their hunting methods we may have a glimpse into how the Paleoindians hunted in Ohio so long ago. You can learn more about the Paleoindian hunting patterns here http://ohsweb.ohiohistory.org/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=1200

Ohio's Paleoindians may have been living in the southeastern portion of Ohio as early as 17,000 B.C. The land above the Southeastern portion of Ohio was slowly exposed as the glaciers retreated throughout the Paleoindian Period. The Ohio River and the Great Lakes never existed before the glaciers came. The Paleoindians lived during a time where the land was being slowly and dramatically changed. Paleoindians had to live on the high ground or in caves in order to avoid the flooded valleys that the glaciers left behind as they retreated. Southeastren Ohio was a safe place for the Paleoindians to live since it had not been exposed to glaciers. Here the land was covered with oak, walnut, and hickory trees along the hillsides. The nuts were gathered by the Paleoindians and used as a supplement to their diets.

Although archeologists have never found the skeletal remains of a Paleoindian they can hypothesis what their life may have been like through archeaological records. The Ohio Paleoindians used flint that they found in river beds to make their points. Archeologists have found Paleoindian quarries and workshops along the Walhonding River in Coshocton County.

You can learn more about Ohio's Paleoindians at

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Little House Memory

In Honor My Mother-In-Law
Elida Espinosa

I haven't had a chance to write for a week due to a family emergency. Last weekend my husband and I learned his mother was in the CCU unit at the Medical Center Hospital in Odessa, Texas. We left Kentucky soon after we heard the news. I drove 11 hours to Oklahoma where we stayed the night then drove another 7 hours the next day until we reached Odessa. Mom died four days later in the Hospice House. My mother-in-law's death was not a natural occurrence and there is a criminal investigation going on concerning her suspicious death. My husband and I couldn't mourn for his mother's passing because we knew it wasn't her time to die and that her death had been caused at the hand of another. I used to hear family members of murder victims say that they are progressing in life but are so tired. I never understood what that meant until this happened to my husband and I.  Life must go on and my mother-in-law would want her son and I to have a good life.

My mother-in-law was a sweet, very loving woman who wanted only the best for her four children. She had been raised by her grandparents. Her husband, Socorro, had passed five years earlier. He had been a ranch hand and migrant worker. Mom had worked as a migrant worker before she had children. After her eldest daughter was born she settled down in her husband's aunt's house and he went to work as a ranch hand. Her little family grew from her aunt, husband and Lupe to a family of six with the addition of my husband and his older brother, Roberto. Mom's father bought her a house next door and her family left her husband's aunt's house to live in their new home. Except her eldest daughter, Lupe, stayed behind to live with Aunt Manuela. Manuela had lost a child and her husband long ago. Mom felt sad for her husband aunt and said she could raise her eldest daughter. But dad didn't like the arrangement. Nevertheless, dad's aunt raised Lupe but Lupe never forgot her parents. A few years later mom had a daughter and named her Carmen.

Mom loved to watch the Little House on the Prairie series when it showed during the 70's. My husband and I decided the best way to honor mom was to visit the Little House on the Prairie site outside of Independence, Kansas. My husband and I arrived at the site in time to enjoy a picnic lunch in the same prairie where the real Laura Ingalls Wilder had ran and played with her sister, Mary. It was sereal to think that the character in the books and on the TV show was a real person. A little girl who could have well stood in the same place where we ate our lunch. I always knew that Laura was a real person. She had been one of my favorite authors who influenced my writing career when I was a child.

Charles Philip (Pa)  and Caroline Lake Quiner Ingalls (Ma) arrived in Kansas with five year old Mary Amelia Ingalls and three year old Laura Elizabeth Ingalls in 1869. They had arrived on the Kansas plains with other settlers who thought the land was open for settlement. The small family lived in their one room cabin for little over a year. It was during this time that the family had contracted an ailment that would have killed them had not Dr. Tann stumbled upon the family. Dr. Tann was a black doctor that Laura mentions in her book. It is also at this Little House where the family meets Mr. Edwards. Mr. Edwards is actually Edmund Mason. Both Dr. Tann and Edmund Mason are buried in Independence, Kansas but in different cemetaries. Another major event for the Little House family occurred on this site as well. It was here that Caroline Celestia Ingalls (Carrie) was born.

Allison sitting outside the Little House on the Prarie.
Laura described the prairie in her Little House on the Prairie book "as far as they could see, to the east and to the south and to the west, nothing was moving on all the vastness of the High Prairie. Only the green grass was rippling in the wind, and white clouds drifted in the high, clear sky." The land was paradise for the little family. But it would not remain so for long.

Little did Pa know but the land he had chosen to settle on was part of the Osage Diminished Reserve. The Osage Diminished Reserve had been land the United States Government had set aside for the Osage Nation to use. The Osage Nation had migrated into the Kansas area during the 17th century. The Osage had been one of their hunting trips when the settlers, along with the Ingalls, had decided to settle on their lands. The Osage Nation was  constantly at war with the settlers. Laura was accustomed to seeing the Native Americans. In 1870, the United States Government bought the Osage Diminished Reserve from the Osage Nation but since Pa and other settlers had not filed a claim for their lands they were told they would have to leave or the US Army would force them to leave. Pa packed up his little family and headed back to Pepin, Wisconsin. It was easy for Pa to find a place to live in Wisconsin.  He had sold his farm three years earlier but the gentlemen who had bought it had never paid Pa for the transaction. Pa reclaimed his farm and cabin where he lived with his little family until 1874.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The #Bestselling #NativeAmerican Historical Fiction Book Is Back!

She's About To Face The Storm of Her Life

Newly released from Mountain Springs House Publishing

In the harsh northwestern frontier of Ohio and Kentucky, a prophecy has been told. A man whose heart appears pure shall deceive her. The power he holds over her will lead her to evil. She shall denounce the ways of Our Grandmother. Another man comes, whose pure heart beats for her alone, and who has a pure spirit devoted to the goddess, Our Grandmother. He shall defeat the evil and set her free.

Calico Marie Turner, a white woman raised by the Shawnee and destined to become a great medicine woman, must trust the one man who hates her the most. How can she trust Chief Little Owl Quick as the Wind to save her from his best friend and village shaman, Hunting Bear?

Calico (Children of the Shawnee series: Book 1)
By: Allison Bruning 

Get you copy on Amazon at http://amzn.to/ZfL1z8

Also available on Smashwords.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

OhioTribes: The First #NativeAmericans

By:Heinrich Harder (1858-1935)
US Public Domain
Ohio Tribes: 
The First 
Native Americans

One of the first people to inhabit the Americas were the Paleoindians. They migrated from Asia following big game to the Americas via the Bering Strait during the the Late Pleistocene Period. The Pleistocene Epoch lasted from 2.6 million to 11,700 years ago. It was during this time that the earth's climate drastically changed. Most of the world was transformed through repeated glaciations. Ohio had been carved out of three such glacial periods during this time. We know this period more commonly as the Ice Age. Animals such as mammoths, mastodons, giant sloths, longhorned bison, saber-toothed cats, and other large mammals scattered the terrain of North America, Asia and Europe. 

The Paleoindian Period lasted from 13,000 -7,000 B.C, which was towards the end of the Late Pleistocene Period. Paleoindian life revolved around the hunting of the great animals listed above and was greatly affected by the Ice Age. The glaciers killed the plant life which meant the herbivores had to migrate elsewhere. Thus humans and the carnivores had to move with the herds into previously unknown territories. Paleoindian groups were highly mobile. Any given band could consist of anywhere between 20-60 members, all of whom were extended family. Hunting and gathering were done during the spring and summer months when smaller hunting parties left the group. These hunting parties would return during the fall and stay throughout the winter. Their diets varied depending on how successful the hunt was. Their clothes and the covers for their shelters were made of animal skins. 

Glaciers during the Pleistocene Period
US Public Domain
(Notice Ohio is completely covered)
The earliest Native American group to inhabit the northern state was the Clovis Culture. The Clovis Culture appeared around 11,500 B.C. but didn't inhabit Ohio until between 9500 - 8000 B.C.  The northern glaciers retracted, exposing new land for exploration and settlement between 17,500 to 14,500 years ago. The animals and Clovis culture took advantage of the new Ohio lands. During the late 20th century, the predominant theory of human colonization of the Americas had been Clovis First, meaning the Clovis Culture were the first group to inhabit the Americas. In 2011, archaeologists at the Buttermilk Creek Complex close to Salado, Texas unearthed an occupation that was proven to be older than Clovis. The Buttermilk Creek Complex isn't the only archaeological site that predates the Clovis Culture.   The following are a list of sites that predate the Clovis Culture. 

Pedra Furada, Piauí, Brazil (55,000 yr BP ABOX)
Topper, (at least 22,900 yr BP; possibly 50,000 yr BP but this is disputed) South Carolina, US
Meadowcroft, Pennsylvania, US (16,000 yr BP)
Cactus Hill, Virginia, US (15,070 14C yr BP)
Monte Verde, Chile (14,800 14C yr BP)
Saltville, Virginia, US (14,510 14C yr BP)
Taima-Taima, Venezuela (14,000 yr BP)
Connley Caves, Oregon, US (13,000 yr BP)
Page-Ladson prehistory site, Florida, US (12,425 ± 32 14C yr BP [15,405–14,146 cal yr BP])
Lapa do Boquete, Brazil (12,070 ±170 14C yr BP)
Paisley Caves, Oregon, US (14,300 cal yr BP)
Tanana Valley, Alaska, US (13,000–14,000 cal yr BP)
Nenana valley, Alaska, US (12,000 yr BP)
Tibit√≥, Colombia (11,740 ±110 14C yr BP)
Tagua-Tagua, Chile (11,380 ±380 14C yr BP)

It seems the culture that predates the Clovis Culture is not genetically Native American but Caucasian. You can learn more by watching this video:

The earliest archaeological evidence of human habituation in Ohio may lead back to the Clovis culture because Ohio did not exist until the glaciers retreated but that doesn't mean the Clovis Culture were the first inhabitants of the Americas. I ,for one, will be keeping my out on what other discoveries scientist make about the colonization of the Americas. It would very interesting to see how the new information changes the way we teach our future generations about the first human occupation of the Americas.