Demonstrator Spotlights: Meet LAW's Demonstrators

​Demonstrators are at the heart of Living Archaeology Weekend. They lend their skills and talents to promote public understanding of and appreciation for the technologies and other lifeways of Kentucky's native and pioneer peoples. Click on the names below to learn more about the dedicated demonstrators who bring the past to life at Living Archaeology Weekend.
Demonstrators Working with Plants and Animal Hides
Living Archaeology Weekend, Kentucky archaeology, Native American, American Indian, Woodland Indians, native technology, primitive technology

Hides + Brains = Moccasins


Tressa Brown describes and demon-strates the methods and materials used by Native Americans to tan animal hides and to make center-seam Woodland-style moccasins.

Music From Nature


Barbara Graham demonstrates how native peoples used river cane, bone, and wood to manufacture flutes and other items. She plays cane flutes and describes the physics of flute sound.

The Versatile Cattail


Roberta Burnes demonstrates how cattails are gathered, processed, and woven into mats, which native peoples used as bedding and house walls. She also demonstrates cordage making.

Cane Artistry


Robin McBride Scott demonstrates traditional Southeastern basketry and mat making using river cane.

Twist 'n Twine


Chris Pappas shows cordage making and the twining technique of hand weaving, used since the Archaic period to make bags, clothing, and other textiles.

Distaffs and Niddy-Noddies


Jo Ann Oborski demonstrates methods used by early pioneers to spin threads and weave textiles. She displays spindles, whorls, distaffs, niddy-noddies, wheels, and other spinning tools.

A Patchwork of Skill and Artistry


Evelyn Morgan demonstrates two methods of quilting, a technology that contributed to the survival of early pioneers and continues today as a form of art.

Demonstrators Making and Using Tools and Weapons

Drill Baby Drill


WKU faculty-students demonstrate how native peoples made and used pump drills to make holes in rocks, shells, and other materials. Visitors can make their own necklaces!

Gone Fishin'


Alex Anderson demonstrates fish- hooks, nets, and other tackle used by native peoples in fishing.

Blowguns: Accuracy Is Key


Doug Meyer demonstrates the manu- facture and shooting of Cherokee blowguns used for hunting small game.

The Atlatl Innovation


Archaeologists Frank Bodkin and Randy Boedy demonstrate how Native Americans launched spears using a spear thrower or atlatl, a very effective weapon and hunting tool.

The All-Around Tool


Matt Weatherholtz demonstrates the manufacture and use of bows and arrows, another technology that Native Americans, as well as pioneers, used for hunting and combat.

Crafting in Stone


Archaeologists and flintknappers Larry Beane and Johnny Faulkner demon-strate the manufacture of chipped- stone tools, including spearpoints and arrowheads.

Clay Artistry and Utility


Tammy Beane demonstrates how to make Southeastern Native American pottery and describes how native peoples used it for storing and cooking food.



Scott Silsby demonstrates the manu- facture and use of many types of ground-stone tools, focusing on stone axes used in woodworking.

Living Archaeology Weekend, Kentucky archaeology, pioneer technology, Kentucky frontier

Dem Bones! Dem Bones!


Archaeologist Jon Endonino demon-strates the manufacture of bone tools like awls and needles, and bone ornaments like pins, illustrating the many uses of animal bone.

Bowls 'n Pipes


Phil Bishop demostrates raw materials and manufacturing techniques for stone bowls and smoking pipes. His replicas demonstrate the stages of making a stone bowl.

Living Archaeology Weekend, Kentucky archaeology, pioneer technology, Kentucky frontier

The Longhunters


Longhunters were professional hide hunters who went on “long hunts." Pat Trader and Earl Bayer demonstrate longhunters’ clothing and firearms from Kentucky’s frontier.

Forging Ahead


Smithing was a critical technology for Kentucky’s pioneers. Blacksmith Jerry Wheeless demonstrates the tools and techniques of forging, welding, heat- treating, and finishing.

Demonstrators Sharing Native and Pioneer Arts and Histories

Cherokee Games of Skill


Members of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians teach visitors stickball,  demonstrate the marble game, weave baskets, and tell stories.

Music That Moves


Members of the Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma demonstrate traditional dances, discuss Shawnee language, and display clothing and crafts.

Mountain Music


The Bowlin Davis Band performs traditional music from Appalachia played on claw hammer banjo and washtub bass.

Demonstrators Focusing on Foods and Food Processing and Cooking

Cooking in Nature's Kitchen


Keith Grenoble demonstrates open hearth and earth oven cooking methods used by Native Americans.

From Forest to Garden: Native Plant Domestication


WKU faculty and students display sunflower, squash, and goosefoot and the tools used to plant, harvest, and process these native plants.

Nature's Medicine Cabinet


Kim Feeman and Alison Connell describe how Native Americans and pioneers gathered and used local plants for a variety of medicinal uses.

The "Not So Common" Common Bean


Heirloom seed expert Bill Best shares his deep love and broad knowledge of the common bean and its long, long Kentucky heritage.

Golden Plant: From Corn to Cornmeal


Archaeologist Nathan White describes pioneer corn processing tools, tech- niques, and traditions from the Historic period.

Cooking Like Great-Great-Grandma


Alison Davidson cooks soup beans over an open fire as the Historic period pioneers would have done. Free samples of beans and cornbread on Saturday!

Demonstrators Featuring Archaeology, Architecture, and Site Preservation

Kentucky's Rich Heritage


Kentucky Archaeological Survey staff answer questions and exhibit educational materials about Kentucky archaeology and Red River Gorge sites.

Archaeology in Action


Phyllis Rigney Johnson demonstrates methods of analyzing chert debitage produced by flintknappers. Come see archaeology in action . . . under the microscope.

Register of Treasures


Visit the Gladie Cabin to learn about the National Register of Historic Places and over 400 cultural resources listed in the Red River Gorge Archaeological District.

Leave No Trace


Forest Service interns demonstrate Leave No Trace hiking and camping methods that help protect cultural and natural resources.

Roof Over Our Heads


Architectural historian Jill Howe takes visitors on a guided tour of the Gladie Cabin's floor plan, roof, foundation, notching, and modifications. She also demonstrates shinglemaking.

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Last Updated 3 September 2019