Submitted by Elgin Public Museum
On Saturday, Oct. 6, the Elgin Public Museum will once again hold its annual Native American Cultural Day at Lords Park, 225 Grand Blvd. on Elgin's east side. With the program, now in its 10th year, participants can learn about the Indians who lived in this area and see how they lived their life.
Although two bison in the Lords Park Zoo have died, one remains and new fencing has been built. Ojibwa elder Joseph Schranz will do a bison blessing at 11 a.m., blessing the new enclosure and preparing it to welcome Drew and Becky, two females coming to Lords Park Zoo from Brookfield Zoo. Also on hand are Sal Redhawk with a Pottawattamie wigwam and Jon Jordan with a Lakota Plains tipi. Both gentlemen will talk about the Indian life and demonstrate various items.
Flintknapper Ken Geier will demonstrate and teach about flintknapping. Geier makes wonderful projectile points, using the age old method of chipping away at chert until a point suitable for arrows and lances remains. Ken gives visitors a hand at the knapping.
There will be numerous dancers and other musicians demonstrating native dances. Shawndra Campbell from South Elgin will demonstrate jingle dress dancing, wearing jingle dress regalia she creates herself. Her daughter does fancy shawl dancing, also in beaded clothing created by her mother. Other dancers are expected from the Chicago American Indian Center.
Bill Buchholtz Allison will again play Native American flute. He is an adoptee and cannot show a tribal affiliation because of sketchy records, but he plays the flute in a hauntingly beautiful way and has attracted a large following in the Elgin area.
A number of vendors, artists and craftsmen will have things for sale, including Trickster Gallery from Schaumburg, operated by the American Indian Center. Navajo Joe Yazzi is the resident artist at Trickster and will exhibit his art work. Others with clothing, and other art work will have booths and items for sale.
This project began years ago as a joint effort between the Midwest SOARRING Foundation and the Elgin Public Museum as a two-day affair held in the Lords Park Zoo. As funding has been more difficult to obtain, the program has shrunken to one day, but a lot of learning and information is packed into that day from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. This year's event is generously sponsored by BMO Harris Bank and Ramona Burns.
For information, visit www.elginpublicmuseum.org or call (847) 741-6655.