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Getting through the tough times.

Spring is Supposed to be fun.

It feels very strange in the world right now. Normally we veiw spring as a time of renewal and energy. Spring is when we get outside and hang with our friends. Fishing, and boating. Spring Foraging. Longer days and Sunshine.

this year is different. It is strange and foreign. Everything is uncertain and noone quite knows what to do. we do not know yet what will happen.

this can be a time for growth. We grow by pushing at the edges of our comfort zone. When we explore discomfort it shows us that sometimes the things that we are scared of can bring us strength.

We can choose to use this time productively. get to know your family more. Explore the feelings that your children and loved ones are having during this crisis. we can also use this time to work on our inner self. Meditation is like push ups for the mind as my friend Kenton says. When you explore meditation it can create a whole new relationship between your awareness, and your subconscious. You can learn to better control your awareness and calm your fears and frustrations.

Here is a very simple example.

Sit, close your eyes breath in for a count of 5 while thinking the word inhale, then hold your breath for a count of 5 while thinking the word hold, then exhale for a count of 5 while thinking the word exhale. Try to focus on your breath and the word of the moment and nothing else. repeat for the predertermined number of revolutions. Boom you just meditated. It’s not mystical or magic it’s just an exercise for your brain. It can also reduce stress and anxiety.

When this thing finally ends, maybe we can use this as a learning experience and try to come together a little. To value the people around us, and try to embrace the moment.

Nature is the medicine we really need right now. I mean, people who become infected need a doctor, but as a whole we need to remember our place in nature. We need to find the time to get outside, to play and to enjoy life. You can work your whole life away for a taste of wealth and power, or you can enjoy your life. when we participate in nature we become more resilient, and more self reliant. Things seem to be less worrisome, and calmer. There are many many benefits to immersing yourself in nature, these are just a few examples.

Be safe, stay healthy, Love each other, and get outside.

Difficult times

It is with a very heavy heart that we are announcing that all of our programs are postponed until further notice.

Our mission is to create community, and to bring people together around earth based skills. However, in these uncertain times we feel very strongly that the responsible thing to do is to Help keep our Community safe. It is in this light that we will be postponing all of our programs until further notice. we are working on getting the Classes that are appropriate into an online format. We will hopefully be rolling that out on March 28 with the Plant ID class.

Remember getting outside and enjoying nature is still an acceptable activity. Simply go alone or with a family member. If you see another person interacting with the natural world, politely acknowledge them and move along.

we are here if anyone needs to talk or email. These are very difficult times for everybody.

We are available if you need ideas for getting outside, or just need someone to talk to.

Blake, Kirstin, Evey, gregg, and Etrayu

A Walk in the Woods

A Walk in the Woods

While walking in the woods today I experienced a myriad of emotions. Emotions such as joy and love, curiosity, surprise, sadness and awe.Mostly I felt Joy.

First of all Joy and Gratitude just because I’m still here to share all of this.The excitement of finding a fresh set of Fisher tracks in the snow or the thrill of a pair of Grouse taking flight a few feet away.The beautiful chirping song of the mighty Bald Eagle always brings a smile. Such a delicate song from such an intimidating Hunter…..
“As I stand here, arms outstretched, slowly turning, taking this all in a feeling of Gratitude comes over me…..

Thank you Trees for all you share, your majestic beauty as a backdrop to my world, the warmth your burning flesh releases, the nourishment your fruit provides and the life giving oxygen you exhale for all life…

Thank you Sun for all you share, your first warming rays fighting back the chill of night, your guidance for our day’s travels. Thank you for the daydreams you invoke…

Thank you to all the critters. They all instill an excitement in me, every chittering squirrel, inquisitive mouse, nervous grouse or the most beautiful Ghost of the North Woods…

Thank you Earth for All Things. You fill my heart to overflow, A tear on my cheek”

Why Tracking?

We are going to start attempting to do a monthly post here. I cannot guarantee that we won’t miss a month from time to time, but we are going to try.

I want to start this off with a subject that is very near and dear to me.

Tracking.

I have spent countless hundreds of hours studying, practicing, and learning tracking just to reach the level of novice. People ask me why? Why learn tracking? Why spend the money? Why waste the time? Can’t you just follow a blood trail?

Tracking is about way more than finding an injured animals or hunting. In fact, I don’t do much tracking at all when I’m hunting. I’ll use track and sign when I am scouting. I look for sign of deer feeding, or bedding when I scout for a hunting spot, I use Deer scrapes as places to locate potential blind spots. But, I do not trail deer with the intention of hunting them, it’s just not a very efficient way to hunt. I have trailed a few deer that were injured, and need to be found, but not very many.

Tracking is more about a connection. A connection to nature, to wildlife, and to human nature. Human nature is all about curiosity. We want to know how things work, where things come from, what things are called, and they do. I think that many if not most people also have a inkling, or a feeling that nature is where we are meant to be. We have become quite far removed from our natural environment, and we are losing out on some of our inborn abilities, and instincts because of it. Tracking brings us back to all of this.

When you start learning tracking you want to know which track belongs to which animal and how to tell them apart. (This Desire never goes away) As you progress, you begin to learn more about what animals you share the landscape with. A very common method in track identification is to list all possible species, and begin to eliminate the ones that don’t fit. You will also begin to learn the feeding and sleeping habits of different species. You can’t find animals if you don’t know what they eat or where they sleep as this is how wild animals spend most of their time. You will begin to learn to identify bones and skulls to species and body part. This gives you a deeper understanding of who is eating who, and how the landscape of wildlife hierarchy works.

The pursuit of the knowledge, science, and art of tracking can lead you to nearly infinite lanes, or courses of study. Do you want to focus on one species or many? Do you want to learn to identify tracks and signs with perfection, or do you want to learn to follow animals? Do you prefer mammals, Birds, or Amphibians? Are interested in breeding habits, or how certain wildlife effects the landscape? Or, are you really interested in how human actions are effecting wildlife? These are all questions that can be explored through tracking.

2 things to remember:

1: You will never identify every track. Mysteries are good they help us learn.

2: Every single trail, all of them end with an animal standing in it.

Community and Moving Forward

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What drives you? What is it that you feel that you are missing or that you need? Some people want more free time. Some people want a family. Some people want more money and a faster car. When people are driven by material objects and wealth, they are typically unhappy, and looking for something to fill the void that they feel. What people really need is community. Nature, and Connection to the world around us. Think about the people who lived in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia 20-30,000 years ago. I’ll add North America as well, though, human life being on this continent 20,000 years ago is a fairly new idea and it is still developing in the scientific community. In these intact hunter/gatherer communities had almost no Mental health issues. Depression and anxiety are not known to have been a part of their lives. There is also no evidence of cancer or heart disease in these populations. It is believed based on evidence found in Africa, Asia, and Europe that most people worked only a couple hours a day or less. And, the things that they were doing for “work” are things that we pursue as hobbies now. Hunting, Fishing, Building shelters, gardening, Foraging, etc. Most of their days were filled with leisure and the pursuit of personal interests. Please don’t think that these people were savages running around and grunting as they threw rocks at mammoths. There is evidence that humans developed spoken language as long as 90,000 years ago. There are cave paintings that are well over 30,000 years old, and beads, carvings, and statues that are equally as old. We are talking about people who lived a very free, healthy, and natural life. Their communities were tight, all of their needs were met, all evidence points to happiness.

If only we could find a way to make all of these things true in our 21st century “civilization” We are set in a scene of rampant Mental health crisis. Suicide, Depression, Anxiety, Drug and alcohol addiction, Cancer, Heart Disease, and diabetes. We have been taught to accept that these are all just a part of life. The truth is that these things only came into being in the last 2,000 years or so, and really have only become major issue in the last 50 years. and really only on the epidemic level of today in the last 10-20 years. Sometimes it seems hopeless. But, there is hope. There have been major breakthroughs in science and social science over the last few years that may shed some light on this. First lets touch on diet. Iam not going to spend a bunch of time on this, it is a major, major issue that deserves its own whole library of books. All that I want to say is this. 1 single scientist from the U of M came up with a hypothesis that  fat was the cause of heart disease, and that a high carb, low-fat diet would be the cure. Our government spent over a billion dollars trying to prove this hypothesis, and in the end they never publicized the results of their study, because they could not prove that it was correct. But, the food industry went on a low fat rampage for an entire generation. The outcome is a generation of people who eat low fat high carb diets. Who buy boxes of food labelled “low fat” and “heart healthy” and who are more obese and sicker than any other in history. in fact most modern research indicates that the correct way for humans to eat is very high fat, and very low cars. Mostly fatty meat, and non-starchy vegetables. Do your own research, it’s the truth. There are many issues with our modern culture, but I think that a great many of them are easily remedied. we simply need to shrug off all of the lies that we have been told. the economy is not the most important issue. it isn’t even in the top ten. We are trained to worry so much about trigger words, and propaganda that we don’t even take the time to figure out what is important to us on a personal, family, and community level. So many people don’t even have a community. It’s no wonder that depression, suicide, and drugs are on the rise.

Let’s work together and create a community. A community that isn’t concerned with political or religious beliefs. A community that doesn’t care about how much money you have, or what kind of clothes you are wearing. Let’s welcome people based on their character, or their desire to make the world a better place. Let’s welcome people who feel a pull toward nature, and who only want to do their part. rewilding is a community. We are together in belief that we can work together for something better. But, we need these communities to be an active part of our lives. we need friends, and support. We need our relatives and our chosen families to help raise our children.

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It is my belief that what we need to do is to take the historical knowledge that we have of our ancestors, and of the pre-cultural ancestors from which we are all descended. we need to take those principles of community, family, nature, and cooperation, and we need to keep only the best of what we have now. Then, with old knowledge and new we can move forward to brighter future, free from all of the trappings of what has caused this mess.

To Be Continued…

Discounted Gift Certificates for the Holidays

As a means of showing our appreciation for all of you. We would like to offer, for the second year, Discounted gift Certificates. These Gift Certificated will be valid for all of our workshops, classes, camps, etc.* We will be offering them only from November 1st until December 21st at midnight.We will offer a 100.00 gift certificate for 75.00, and a 50.00 gift certificate for 40.00. Please take this as our gift to you for your support, and community.

100.00 Gift Certificate

This is a 100.00 Gift certificate for use at any NWWS class, Camp, Workshop, Lecture, or Program.

$75.00

50.00 Gift Certificate

This is a 50.00 Gift Certificate good for any Class, Workshop, Program, Lecture, or Camp Run By NWWS

$40.00

Open House!!!

fish rockDo you know what rewilding is?

On November 7 at 6 pm we will be hosting our first annual winter open house. We will serve wild crafted goodies, and display some of the subjects that we teach. We will hold discussions and offer demonstrations. If you have ever wondered about what it is that we do, or wanted to be a part of it and weren’t quite sure, this is your chance to get in on something free and personal. These little get togethers are always fun, and super laid back. We usually get 1:1 time with each person who comes through. If you have a craft or project that you are working on, maybe we can get a craft circle going. Come on down and check it out. See you there!

Long Term Classes

Etrayu Bow

There are so many options out there these days. Whether you are looking for rewilding, Wilderness survival, Homesteading, How to survive the apocalypse, experimental archaeology, or whatever. You can choose a 4 hour class, a 1 day workshop, a long weekend, a week, or you can do a year, or a season. I have taken lots of several hour to 1 day classes. I have gotten quite a bit out of each of them. However, Every single class that I have taken that was hours long, I had to go back and relearn the skill later. The classes that I have gotten the most out of are the ones that were months long. Think college. If you take 1 class you can say you went to college, but to get the benefit of the education you have to go for 4 or 6 or 8 years. This is so, because long-term exposure has so many benefits. The benefits range from deep immersion which ingrains you with a particular knowledge set. To the construction of a culture. Any Long term learning facility has a culture. The University of Minnesota has a student culture, St. Thomas University has a student culture, Rewild University has a very obvious student culture, and Future Necessities has a student culture.

Look at our “The Sacred Hunt” Apprentices. On February 1st these four guys had never met, now they are a team. We train together, we laugh together, and we work together. It has been amazing for me to watch how these guys have melded together. It is a culture of wonder, of respect, of Passion, and the want to be closer to the earth, more a part of the world. It has been said that we were not born to pay bills and die. The culture of today would beg to differ, but we are striving to show people that you can make your own path. You can both participate in the modern world, and also make your own life.

Any time that you take the opportunity to learn something, you are bettering yourself. When you commit yourself to an idea or a skill set, you are honing yourself. Delving into a culture and becoming a part of an idea is something else all together. When I was at Rabbit stick last year, I became a part of rabbit stick, I felt the ebb and flow of the base line that was that gathering. I talked to the people there as if we had been there forever. It became who I was. Then, I went home, and I returned to my normal life. I became me again, but by having fully immersed myself into the culture, it became a part of me, and ever so slightly changed who I am, and I love every second of it.

camp

What are Primitive Living skills?

 

       This topic covers a wide range of actual skills. Primitive living cannot be called a skill in itself, but instead it must be understood that at no time in human history have people been a solitary species. We are a pack animal, we need a clan to survive. The skills necessary to meet the needs of a person are best performed by a people.
        The basic needs of wilderness living, are shelter, fire, water, and food, and self expression, in that order. These needs are guided by 2 basic principles. Those of Connection and awareness. These last 2 items are the keystone, they are the parts that hold the whole thing together. Without a keen sense of awareness, awareness of your self, your situation, and your surroundings, and without a strong sense of connection to nature, to yourself,and to your community, you have no chance.
          So, what does it take to create a living in “primitive” sense. Let’s start with the basics.
1. Shelter: Shelter is first on our list because exposure poses the most imminent risk to people. We have not evolved with fur or feathers, and most of us don’t have a layer of blubber. In extreme conditions exposure to harsh weather can kill a person in less than 3 hours. Therefore it is the issue that needs to be addressed first. Going back to the last couple centuries people have moved from easily portable shelters such as the teepee, the laavuu, and the yurt. to permanent sedentary structures, that we call houses. Before that time we saw cultures living in pit houses, and thatched huts. We also saw cultures that were constantly on the move and lived in impromptu structures. These are the shelters that we are talking about. There is the Boreal lean to, the debris hut, the wigwam, and so incredibly many more. These structures can be anything from a pile of twigs and branches that we lay atop to insulate us from the cold of the ground, and cover ourselves with furs, to the wigwam, which is an intricate structure of poles and bark. These shelters can take anywhere from a couple hours to an entire day, or more to build. Each time that the people stopped, it was like building a temporary town.
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2. Fire: Fire is a huge deal in all of human history. When we achieved the ability to Create and control fire, we acquired the ability to cook meat, which meant we could hunt and kill larger prey with richer meat, and that…. is the time when our brains began evolving into the intellectual powerhouse that it is today. Our earliest handle on fire was to go to the aftermath of a forest fire or lightning strike and pick up coals which could be coaxed into a flame. But sometime around 400,00 years ago. Something happened. Anthropologist Russell Cutts believes that it went something like this: “Perhaps one day a hunter was burnishing his spear on an old tree stump and his mind began to wonder. While he was day dreaming he just kept rubbing his spear on the old dried up wood. After a while, he smelled something. It was familiar, but he couldn’t quite place it. It was….Smoke, the smell from the forest fires, but it had come from his spear. he had made smoke. He probably told his people, but of course they did not believe him. so he kept trying and trying, and then he passed it on to his children, who kept trying, and trying, and what seems like eternity. One of them made a coal, and after another eternity someone turned a coal into fire, which evolved into the hand drill, which evolved into the bow drill. The ability to control fire is the ability to maintain and support life. It keeps us warm, it lights our nights, and cooks our food.
3. Water: Water is the essence of life, of all life. anywhere on this planet without water, there is no life period. We are fortunate enough to live in a place that is rich in water. As far as I know Minnesota has 17,700 bodies of water that are large enough to be considered lakes, and a countless number that are just not quite big enough. Today the only issue that we have is ensuring that we boil or filter our water to make sure it is not polluted or contaminated. In the time of the Mississippians or the hopwellians all they had to do was find water, and drink it. Carrying water could be an issue back then, but these people were far more ingenuic than most of us probably realize.  They use hollowed out wood swollen with wetness to carry water, or gourds, or rawhide containers. In the time of the Anasazi, or the Hopi they faced a completely different set of problems, they did not have ready access to water, so they had to find sources miles from their homes and dig canals for miles and miles. Bringing the water to their crops and families. For the purposes of Primitive technology water focuses on the carrying and boiling of water without modern implements. In areas where bamboo grows it is not an issue. You can carry water in bamboo without altering it in any way. You can also boil water in bamboo if you do so carefully so as not to burn the bamboo. There were also clay jugs and pots as far back as 14,000 years ago in china and Japan, and 7-10,000 years ago in the rest of the world. A good clay pot can carry and boil water. You can make a birch bark container that is water tight by sealing the seams with pine pitch or by folding the bark in just the right way. To boil water in bark or in rawhide, you fill your container about half way with water, put clean rocks in a fire, and 1 by 1 add the rocks to the container until your water boils. It comes out a little sooty, but you can drink it.
4. Food: This is a huge subject, and one that will vary wildly from culture to culture. There are a few things that are universal. Everyone has to eat. And, I have never found any substantiated evidence of a vegetarian or vegan pre industrial culture. I have heard rumors of such, but most are either untrue, or related to cultures that had established towns, commerce, and agriculture, which excludes it from the group of pre-industrial aboriginal. All cultures that I am aware of, with the exception of the Inuit, eat some amount of vegetable matter in their diets. The Inuits traditionally ate only raw frozen meat. They had very little wood, therefore very few fires to cook with, and in the climate and landscape of northern Canada, Alaska, and Greenland, it is nearly unthinkable that food worthy vegetation would exist. So, In most cultures, the first, and easiest food to acquire. Another trait that nearly all if not all Indigenous cultures have in common, is that they are INTIMATELY connected to the land and the landscape. We are talking about a level of connection that is essentially un-known in the modern world. These people that we are talking about, were born in nature, grew up spending every minute of their life immersed in nature, and lived their entire life as a part of nature. Knowing every plant every animal, how to find them and what to do with them. Kids would be able identify hundreds of plant species. These food sources were utilized year after year, generation after generation, and never depleted. Here in Minnesota we have dozens of edible and medicinal plant species. From cattails, and wapato, to Raspberries, and maple seeds. Owning this knowledge offers one a sense of confidence and self reliability that is indescribable to most of us. After Vegetation, fish is the next easiest food source to acquire.
     There are numerous methods for catching fish primitively. There are weirs, A rock or stick formation in the water intended to funnel the fish into an open area that is controlled by the hunter to make it hard for the fish to escape and easy for the hunter to spear or net them. There are several different types of fish funnel traps. There are spring traps with hooks on them, Trot lines, float lines, fishing poles, etc. Fish are pretty easy to catch, and they are plentiful in much of the world. They are delicious, and very healthy, being high in protein, and fats. The next easiest prey to acquire will be small game.
     Rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, etc. These can be trapped or hunted. If you are very skilled you can get small game with a bow and arrow, or a spear, but You One would be well served to learn the art of trapping if acquiring small game is the goal. There are many types of traps that can be employed. Dead falls, spring snares, loop snares, Pits, and an endless supply of designs and techniques from throughout the world. A dead fall is a heavy rock or log balanced atop some sort of trigger system. The most common ones are Figure four, which is important, because it is easy to make and it requires no cordage. Paiute, the easiest and most sensitive trigger. and promontory peg.Which is a little hard to make, but it is a very sensitive trigger, and works well for bird traps. There are also spring snares, which use a bent sapling, or a heavy rock to act as an engine which will (spring) the trap into action, thus killing your prey and lifting them off of the ground where they cannot be reached by other predators. The most common of these are the Twitch up, Which is very versatile, and is one of our go to traps in our teaching. The basic trigger, which is the one that most people teach and learn, but it is basically useless when it comes to actually catching an animal, because they are really tough to trigger. and the T-bar style, which is a really sensitive, but overly complicated trap trigger. There are literally hundreds of styles of spring snare, but essentially they all work the same. A loop snare, or noose snare, is simply a slip knot placed at such a height and in such a place as to ensnare the neck of a particular size and type of animal, and as the animal pulls the loop gets tighter and suffocates the animal. These are great for things like squirrels and rabbits, but aren’t great for larger or smarter animal. You can place several of them on a diagonally leaned pole, which is then placed near an oak tree and as squirrels attempt to climb up, they become ensnared. A pit trap is literally a hole in the ground placed in such a way as to encourage the prey to fall in.
      The most difficult food sources to acquire would be Large game and birds. Hunting large game takes a lot of skill and practice. To hunt large game you would use a bow and arrow, or an atl atl, or a spear. You would need to learn everything about the intended game, when they eat at what time of year, what they eat at what time of year. How and when they mate. Where they mate. Their migration routes, Their sleep habits. Where do they drink, how much do they drink. etc. Once you have learned everything that their is to know about your intended prey you need to either learn to track well enough to find a trail and follow it to the animal or you need to set up an ambush spot. You will then wait until your game approaches to within a workable distance and take your shot. Or you can spot and stalk, which means walk around and look for an animal and when you see one, slow down to a stalk and sneak up on the animal until you are within range. Birds are a whole other monster. With birds you need to learn all of the things that you learned about your big game, then be able to a small  very fast moving target.
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Primitive life included much more than just brutish day to day survival, It wasn’t just a constant search for food. People began making artistic advances as early as 75,000 years ago. In the form of shell beads and petroglyphs. Life certainly revolved around the 4 needs; Shelter Fire, water, and food, but the advances that made us really become human, had a lot more to do with creative expression. Often around the search for food, or shelter. Cordage is a great example. This seemingly simple discovery completely changed the game for our ancestors. Unfortunately plant fibers don’t stand up well with time. There are, however, a few examples of cordage that have survived that we know are at least 7-10,000 years old. Otzi the iceman had on shoes that were reverse wrapped basswood bark. Cordage as we will mean it here. is a plant or animal fiber that is reverse wrapped into string or rope. A reverse wrap includes twisting a bundle of fibers in one direction and then wrapping them in the opposite direction around another bundle that is twisted in the same direction. This simple invention made tying shelters easier and faster, it made bows strings stronger and longer lasting, everything became easier and more convenient. At one point in time, this was the most advanced technology on the planet.
Then there is flint knapping. Flint knapping is the method of breaking small pieces off of a larger stone in a specific order and pattern to create a sharp and strong cutting tool. Whether it be a knife or an arrowhead, or whatever. This is an art that began millions of years ago and is still evolving today.   The earliest stone tools were likely A stone picked up off of the ground and used to smash something, or a rock picked up that was already sharp and used to cut or scrape some material or food source. Soon there after they would have discovered that if they broke a stone by smashing it on another stone that it would create sharp cutting edges and points. The first known tools to come on the scene were the oldowan chopper (1.5-2.5 million years ago/Tanzania. Australopithecus Garhi or homo habilus) The Acheulian Hand axe (900,000-1.8 million years ago/All of Africa, south and west Asia, Southern Europe. Homo Ergaster, Homo Erectus) and The Abevellian hand axe (424,000-700,000 years ago/All of Africa, All of Asia, and most of Europe, though this designation in some circles is only used t describe European tools. Homo Erectus, Homo Neanderthalensis, Homo sapiens) These tools were simple and required very little work, though considering the time periods in question, the technology was amazing. After that time period the technology blew up, and in different parts of the world different technologies became the norm. We had the levallois technology in northern Africa, western Asia, and southern Europe around 335,000 years ago, the mousterian 40,000-160,000 years ago, thought to be neanderthal in origin, central Europe. We had the solutrean in France around 20,000-30,000 years ago made by homo sapiens, and the clovis technology around 10,000 years ago in south west United States. These just scratch the surface of the tools and techniques that existed over time, and now we have artists doing amazing things to rocks with very simple tools. The art of Flint knapping is an ever evolving, and far from dead art.
Obsidian points
Other such arts include Pottery, Basket making, Weaving, Bone tool making, Pecking and grinding, Ground stone technology, Hide tanning, Cave painting, and a never ending list of more and more to the end of the human imagination.
Pottery: The earliest use of clay as pottery is in China and Japan around 14,000 B.C.”long before they started farming. Probably people had always known how to make pottery, but just hadn’t done it much. This early pottery was made by just pushing a hole into a ball of clay, or by making a long snake of clay and coiling it up into a pot shape”-Emanuel Cooper, 10,000 years of pottery.
The earliest known Use of pottery in the Americas was around 5,500 B.C. in Brazil. They were packing fish in Clay to ferment it. In north America We see the Mississippians Using Pottery between 800-1600 B.C. and The Hopewellians using Pottery Between 200-400 B.C. It is likely that there was pottery being made and used in North America long before that, But if clay is not fired or tempered properly it is very difficult to identify. There is some evidence of fire hardened clay Tempered with plant fibers possibly as much as 2,000 B.C. and in the S.W. United States it may have been much much older. Finally the Inuits, or Inupiats may have been using Shell in A pottery type way as much as 10,000 years ago. 
Pottery may have started out as a simple vessels for storing or fermenting food, but very quickly clay pots turned into amazing works of art. Reflecting the care given to their manufacture in nearly every known human civilization. The anasazi in some regards are known as the masters of pottery. They have made some of the most beautiful pieces that are also fully functional 
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Basket Making:  Basket weaving (also basketry or basket making) is the process of weaving or sewing pliable materials into two- or three dimensional artifacts, such as mats or containers.
Making baskets is another skill that has been perfected around the world by dozens or hundreds of cultures. Here in Minnesota we have some of the best basket makers in the world. The Ojibwe Basket makers were incredibly innovative and skilled. They have a basket called a  wiigwaasi-makak. We call it a makuk. 
It is made of birch bark, sewn together with split spruce root, and sealed with pitch glue. They are used to store Maple sugar, and the preservative properties of the birch help keep the sugar fish and stave of insects. 
Baskets ave been made from different barks barks including Birch, Elm, Willow, Basswood, Spruce, Ash, and many others. Baskets have also been woven from roots, branches, split stems, and fibers. There are as many variations on basketry as there are on any subject that revolves around nature. 
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Bone tools are a subject of particular interest to me. A good friend of mine Wad Miller was an amateur archeologist, studying the history of Minnesota. He was on the team that discovered the Pine City Fur post. Here in Minnesota we find very few stone points and blades compared to other areas of the country. Wad believed, as do I that because the stone that is abundantly present here, the there was very little flint knapping. Therefore, most likely the earliest people of Minnesota were making there points and blades out of bone. Bone is very strong and can be honed to a fine edge. Bone also biodegrades, which is one possible reason that we don’t find many artifacts. The oldest excavated bone tools are from Africa, dated to about 1.5 million years ago. It is widely accepted that they appeared and developed in Africa before any other geographic region. A very famous excavation of bone tools is that of the Blombos Cave in South Africa. A collection of twenty-eight bone tools were recovered from 70 thousand year old Middle Stone Age levels at Blombos Cave. Careful analyses of these tools reveal that formal production methods were used to create awls and projectile points.[3]
Commonly we find Awls, Arrowheads, Knives, Buttons, Spear points, Needles, Needle cases, and many man ymore are all commonly made from bone, all around the world.
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Pecking and grinding is the process of working a semi hard stone such as Green stone, or granite into an usable axe or other tool, by strategically striking a harder stone against it in a predetermined pattern to remove small particles of stone, thus changing the shape of the original into something close to the intended final shape. When the stone gets close to the intended shape, the maker then grinds the piece on a slab of wettened sand stone until it is polished into a finished tool. Ground stone tools show up in Europe and Africa around 25,000 years ago, but it is believed that the technology was used in Japan long before that time.  Here in Minnesota this technology is probably at least 2,000 years old, around the time when copper mining on Lake Superior is thought to have started.
At this point at least some of you are probably wondering how this applies to you.In the roughly 7 million year history of Right now is the first time that a majority of people have little or no discernible connection to Nature. We have built a world around us in which man ypeople feel that nature is not necessary, or some sort of abstract concept. This is not only sad, but also dangerous. It is said that people will only protect what they love. We need to love nature, and we need to protect it. The seperation that has taken place in the last 50 years or so is already showing it’s dark side.
 nature-deficit disorder contributes to a diminished use of the senses, attention difficulties, conditions of obesity, and higher rates of emotional and physical illnesses. Research also suggests that the nature-deficit weakens ecological literacy and stewardship of the natural world. These problems are linked more broadly to what health care experts call the “epidemic of inactivity,” and to a devaluing of independent play. Richard Louv.
 
In a world where anything that you could ever want to know is at your finger tips, it becomes of the utmost importance to focus on maintaining knowledge and experience. What kind of life is left when we don’t have to do anything or go anywhere? Need food, use your cell phone, have a question, ask your cell phone, need help, ask your cell phone. What we are seeing is sky rocketing diagnoses of Adhd, Anxiety, and depression. Mental health disorders are being fueled by a lack of personal connection in our day to day lives. In all of human history societies have been close knit. Everyone had a place and they knew their role. Cultures took care of people, and held their space for them. Now we intentionally separate ourselves from each other. we do everything in our power to not have to get to know people, to not have to meet people. Most of us, could not feed ourselves with out restaurants and grocery stores. Already we are at a point when many people cant even cook for themselves. 
The rewilding movement is growing and gaining popularity throughout the world. Let me clarify. If you give up all of modern life and become a monk in the woods; you are a rewilder. If you are a person who work sin an office in downtown, and you decide to spend your free time outside, and try to get to know nature, and your own wildness a little bit; you are a rewilder, and anything in between counts. I like air conditioning, and my cell phone. I love sushi, and pizza. I have no desire to give these things up. But, the wilderness is the most important thing to me. I know that it is home, I am as much a part of it, as a fox or  a deer. We all are. We are part of the food chain, we are part of the natural order, and we are nature. We just need to know this. We need to incorporate it into our lives. Shinrin Yoku or Forest Bathing has been shown to have a plethora of health benefits, lowered anxiety, lower blood pressure, Increased awareness, just to name a few, and literally, Shinrin Yoku is the act of walking in nature, and turning off your thinking mind and being in your awareness. Think of your mind as  a 2 part machine, there is the thinking, remembering, feeling part, and your awareness. Picture a landscape full of little balls. Each ball is a thought or a memory and yu can place your awareness on any ball that you choose. You can also place your awareness on NOW. no thoughts or memories, just awareness. But, this takes practice. Insert awareness exercise. 
 
Now to bring this back to primitive living skills. This awareness minded rewilding mind needs to be worked out, Your body needs push ups, your mind needs exercise to. Being in nature, practicing earth based living skills, immerses us into a real world a world where we know that we need to be a part of this, it gives us the confidence to move forth in our daily lives. When we Practice primitive living skills it connects us to our ancestors, and helps us feel like we belong again. These skills are our human birthrite. They predate all ideas of race, or nationallity. They predate, any religion or country. They bring us to a time when all people were simply, People. Which is the truth today as much as ever, We have just forgotten it.
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How connected is connected?

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There are millions of Americans that have an innate connection to nature. They join the Sierra Club, or Green Peace, They drive Hybrids, they love hiking, camping, and Fishing. The American Connection to nature is part of our heritage, part of who we are. we had pilgrims, then long hunters, and rangers, then mountain men, and voyageurs. Now we have archaeologists and Spelunkers. Each year 282 million people visit our national parks. This does not include National Forests, National monuments, State Parks, State Forests, National Wildlife refuges, National Grasslands, etc.etc.etc….. Literally most of America Feels some sort of meaningful connection to the wild parts of our Nation.

But……..What does this connection mean, and how connected is connected. We wear Northface, Drive Subarus, read Outside Magazine, and Shop at REI, but how can our actions reflect our beliefs? Our connection to Nature can be more real, it can be more meaningful, and we can pass it on to our children. The culture of mass compulsory consumerism does not need to keep a footing in our culture. It only exists because we feed it. But, some people feel the pull of the wild, they feel that they don’t need to keep buying things. There are those in our society who do feel fulfilled from having the nicest and newest stuff, and that is just fine. For those who know that there can be more to life than that, You can look past the mirage, you can see that nature is the way. I’ve said it before, but, humans have existed on this planet in 1 form or another for around 7 million years, and it is only just in the last 100 that we have decided that we don’t need nature. We could not be more mistaken. We need water to drink, air to breath, food to eat, and trees to clean our air. Without these things human beings cannot live, Period. In order for these things to continue existing, we need NATURE.

Right now, you can choose to go outside, to be a part of nature. If you sit at home and watch television, how can you expect your children to do any different. You can find a whole new sense of self and feel really connected to the world around you. Humans are a part of nature, and we are a part of the food chain. When you feel it, you will never be the same again. Once you feel your place, you will never want to give it up again. It is a knowing of self, a pure feeling of confidence. and all you have to do, is go outside, and learn how to be there. Foraging, tracking, hunting, Camping, these are all a part of our birth rite. A true meaningful connection to nature, is different than a sense of connection. But, Anything is a good start. A person who has given up the trappings of modern society, and live in a hut in the woods, and a person who knows that something has to change, and goes camping for the first time, are both on the path of rewilding. Regardless of how far down the path one might be, it is all the same path. Anything that gets people outside and opens their eyes is what it takes, a place to start is all anyone needs.

May this be yours…..

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