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November 15, 2013

American Heritage girls experience Native American living

More than 100 American Heritage Girls and leaders gathered around a council fire the night of Nov. 8 at Weatherford’s Camp Holland to learn about Native Americans and hear the sounds of a Native American flute and hand drum and the voices of Sayani.

Sayani, a Native American musical mother and daughter team, sang songs in their native tongue and in English. The weekend camp out hosted by Troop Tx5160 from Weatherford had girls participating in a wide range of activities that would have been done by Native Americans in the past, from knife and tomahawk throwing, archery, travois races (lashing), fire building, ring and pin and double ball.

The campsites were filled with Native American items the girls made in preparation for the camp, including sample dwellings, rabbit skins the girls tanned themselves and pioneering projects adorned with feathers, rocks, shells and arrowheads. Each troop had a flag and many had banners they made to represent their given tribe.

The girls participated in a Native American cooking contest. Judges were brought in from the community. The judges were treated to a wide variety of Native American meals, all prepared by the girls, including the meal provided by the local troop that included muscovy duck stew with a duck they butchered and prepared themselves that they then marinated in molasses and herbs. The stew included vegetables the girls had raised and herbs they had harvested from the land.

To complement this main course the girls ground their own mesquite beans using a mortar and pestle and made their own flour. To top off the meal they made roasted pumpkin seeds in the dutch oven. They then served their meal in containers they made out of gourds and a serving platter they lashed together. The meals were presented to the judges inside of an authentic 20-foot-tall teepee, and many girls were wearing Native American regalia.

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