Braxton Deshaun Foster participated in

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 1, 1999

Braxton Deshaun Foster participated in a game of "chunkey" at Native American Day at Pike County Elementary School Sept. 23. The object of the game is to throw a spear through a hoop. Deshaun took aim and let the spear fly and his aim was right on target for a good time. Photo by Jaine Treadwell

PCES students learn

Native American ways

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By JAINE TREADWELL

Features Editor

The aim of Native American Day at Pike County Elementary School last week was to introduce all students to the lifestyles of the different tribes who once inhabited this area of South Alabama and to develop an appreciation of the many contributions they made to the American way of life.

The Pike County Indian Education Program hosted Native American Day and all 600 plus students at PCES participated.

Tammy Jeter, teacher for the Pike County Indian Education program, said she teaches about 200 students but she wanted all of the students to have an opportunity to be a part of this activity which was the school’s culminating activity for Native American Month.

"During November, most students study about the Native Americans but we wanted them to realize the importance of the roles these people played in the development of our country at a time other than Thanksgiving," she said.

The activities included several booths that were designed for learning and fun.

The Star Clan of Lower Muscogee Creek displayed artifacts and traced the history of their tribe and showed how they were a part of the cultural heritage of Southeast Alabama.

At the Cherokee booth, students learned about the It Se Selu (Green Corn Festival) and the many products that use corn as a base, including paint, soap and baby powder.

Students sampled Indian fry bread and found it to be especially good when sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. They chased the bread with Indian spirit water.

"They didn’t know what was in the spirit water but they liked it anyway," Jeter said.

The students also enjoyed having their faces painted, much in the fashion of Indian lore, and playing Indians games such as chunkey.

"Chunkey is a game where a spear is thrown through a hoop," Jeter said. "The Cherokee and Creek Indians didn’t give their children chores to do. What they required them to do every day was to play games so they could improve their skills as hunters and be better adults. Our students were impressed by that."

The students also visited a summer house which was constructed on the school grounds by "Trader" Lehmann of Ariton. "Mr. Lehmann built the house for us and gave a very interesting and informative talk about trade between the Indians and the white man," Jeter said.

The student body of Pike County Elementary School went away from the day’s activities knowing more about the Indian culture and with a much deeper appreciation of it, Jeter said.

The Pike County Indian Education Program reaches students at PCES, Goshen and Banks schools.