Members of Mid-America Indian Center came to Peabody-Burns Elementary School Tuesday to share about Indian cultures with students. Peabody-Burns Parent Teacher Organization arranged for the visit.
“Students in each class have selected a country to study for the entire year,” PTO vice president Ann Jones said. “The United States is one of the countries selected and we thought this would give all the students some background on Indian culture and history.”
MAIC members Sandra Hulsey and Crystal Bachicha worked with morning preschool, kindergarten, first, and second grade students from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday afternoon students from afternoon preschool, third, fourth, and fifth grade worked with Hulsey and Bachicha from 12:30 to 2 p.m.
The women shared a book with the students about a girl who learned to be a dancer at ceremonies. They also created a display of Indian toys, musical instruments, tools, bead work, and other items for the children to look at and handle.
Bachicha explained how Indians used animal skins for clothing, bedding, and teepees. She showed tools such as stone scrapers, arrowheads, and buffalo jawbones used to harvest grasses.
“Our ancestors used the things that were around them to make their lives easier,” Bachicha said. “They didn’t waste anything. If an animal was killed for food, they also used the bones, fur, and teeth.”
PBES students were allowed to touch the items in the exhibit, play with the toys, and handle the furs, antlers, and tools.
“This fur is so soft,” first-grader Anne Myers said. “I love to touch it. I would like to wear it for clothes.”
Students also got to string together colored beads on a rawhide bracelet, the bead colors representing parts of the human body such as red for the heart and blood.
“We are glad to have this chance for the students,” curriculum coordinator Kathy Preheim said. “PTO vice president Ann Jones has worked hard to get this coordinated. It has been a great experience for the children.”