TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama’s Moundville Archaeological Park invites the West Alabama community to learn the Native American skill of flintknapping at the 19th annual Knap-In March 8-9.
The event will feature some of the best flintknappers from around the nation demonstrating the ancient art of making tools out of stone, bone or antler using only rocks.
“We hope all attendees gain a better understanding of the fascinating technology of making stone tools,” said Kayla Scott, education outreach coordinator at UA’s Moundville Archaeological Park. “It’s impossible to fully grasp how these tools are made and used by simply looking at them through an exhibit case.”
Retired U.S. Marine and weapons expert Bill Skinner will set up a weapons range where he will demonstrate how to use ancient tools and weapons. Attendees will have the opportunity to throw an atlatl, a device used to propel a spear so it travels farther with more force, at a target.
Aside from flintknapping, the event will showcase Native American culture in a variety of ways. Mrs. Juanita’s Choctaw Kitchen will prepare traditional Native American fare throughout the weekend. Children will be able to take part in a number of make and take craft activities, while the vendor’s market will appeal to all ages and include a variety of items.
Saturday will feature traditional drumming and singing by the Southern Pine Drum Group. The group will also provide music for the Mystic Wind Choctaw Social Dancers. The group’s performances will start at 10 a.m.
Another activity scheduled for Saturday morning will be guided bird walks through the park. The bird walks, led by Dwight Lemmon, will start at the riverbank near the park’s conference center at 9 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.
In addition to the Knap-In event, Scott hopes patrons will explore the Moundville Archaeological Park, which features the ancient settlement, museum and café.
The Knap-In is free with regular admission to the park. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors 55 years and older, $6 for children, and free to those under the age of five. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. UA’s Moundville Archaeological Park is 13 miles south of Tuscaloosa off Alabama Highway 69.