“Native American Heritage has touched every culture on the face of this earth with games, food, etc.”
Mr. Ghostman told North Strabane Intermediate students today throughout the day today. He goes on to explain why and how in assemblies for every class in the school. He was visiting the school in honor of November being national Native American Heritage month. He says it would cost a small fortune for the school to go to a museum (between transportation, stopping for lunch,etc.) and this is more interactive and fun for the kids as well. Mr. Ghostman has a general list of things that he discusses but he mostly lets the kids lead the discussion by letting them ask questions. He actually started off with asking them if they have any questions to which many students’ hands shot straight up. One of the first questions asked was what tribe he belonged to; to which Mr. Ghostman replied, “The Huron Tribe.”
He goes on to explain that his face was painted black because this is his “death face”. His tribe uses color on their faces as a way of expressing themselves and they use almost every color – black, red, yellow, pink, etc. His entire outfit was made from the hides of different animals. Even the things that were around his neck – bear claws, represents qualities that they would like to be, to his medicine bag, to his knife. Mr. Ghostman jokes that he is not losing his hair, that his hair style actually announces that he is a warrior.
He asked the students what popular games they liked to play to which one student exclaimed “Lacrosse!”. He held up a lacrosse stick and said that they played lacrosse too but it was a vicious game that was used to settle disputes.
One of the students asked if that was a drum on his table and he said “Yes, music! We have similar music to your culture as well.” He brought a drum made out of animal skin, a shaker made out of a turtle shell and a flute that was in a bag made out of a baby bear’s skin. Food is another topic that was discussed and he asked the students to raise their hands if they ate any of the same foods that they ate such as; corn including popcorn, maple syrup, potatoes, tomatoes, etc.
He ended his presentation by having the kids gather around and showed them how to start a fire near the gymnasium door. Mr. Ghostman hopes these presentations continue because he loves doing them. He’s been at the Greene County History Museum longer than some of the employees. North Strabane Intermediate is lucky to have him and Canon-McMillan School District hopes he continues to come back for years to come because as one of the teachers said
“This is the third year he’s come here and every year I learn something new!”