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Primitive Technology

What if there were no shopping malls or grocery stores? Primitive cultures living in Georgia thousands of years ago would not care. Everything they needed, they made. Today it is important to the surviving native cultures to continue practicing the skills and sharing the traditions that ensured survival. Davy Arch, a Cherokee carver shows animal masks that were worn during dances. Their purpose was to give hunters animal characteristics needed for a successful hunt. Eddie Bushyhead, a storyteller and musician tells the legend of how the woodpecker gave the flute to the Cherokee people. Arch discusses river cane as an all-purpose material used in building houses, making weapons, and weaving baskets. He demonstrates a cane blow gun and flint knapping to make stone tools such as knives and projectile points. Women were tool makers and Arch discusses their important role in the Cherokee culture as heads of councils that made decisions about war and slavery. Eddie Bushyhead tells a humorous story about the lack of profanity in the Cherokee language and how the Indians got around it.

Teacher tip: Ask students to make a list of skills that primitive cultures needed to provide food for themselves and a list of skills needed to provide food today. Discuss the differences and how human culture has changed over time.