Sunday, December 12, 2010

Maidu Historical Site

I thought it would be fun to visit a local Native American site. Lucky for us, there is one just a few miles from where we live. It was a great place to learn about the Native Americans that lived in our area, apart from the books that we are reading for school.

The first thing we saw on the way to the site were egg shaped rocks:

Near the beginning of the path, we saw petroglyphs. I would not have noticed them if there had not been a sign.

At the beginning of the path, we saw Grinding Rocks, which was so cool, because we had just read about them. It was then that my daughter started to connect her lessons with the world around her.

We strolled around a little more of the path, before I decided that we had to start heading back to the museum. It was late in the day, and I told my children that we could visit the museum store before we went home. They each chose a small souvenir (my daughter, a piece of pyrite, and my son a piece of gypsum). The site had a very interesting aura about it. To know that living people performed sacred ceremonies there, ground food in the rocks, cooked their meals (perhaps underground) on the site with open fire, hunted wild animals, used the local plants to make their tools, baskets, and clothing, passed down their knowledge of the land to their children, and died there, was surreal to me.

There is still more to see and we will go back in the Spring, when the daylight hours are longer. I wonder if the aura will be different...