Primitive Technology Weekend
Saturday and Sunday – May 7 and 8, 2011
Glimpse into man's prehistoric past at Oregon Ridge Nature Center's Primitive Technology Weekend. Each year since 1988 professional and avocational flintknappers, living history practitioners, traditional archers, and archaeologists have gathered together with the visiting public during the first weekend in May to share knowledge and hands-on experience in replicating items composed of stone, bone, wood, and natural fibers.
As you stroll through the work area you will see knappers using hammerstones or other percussion tools to flake away or sculpt a stone tool such as an arrowhead, spear point, or scraper. Shaping stones through this process was one of primitive man's earliest skills and has become an art form today. If you walk a bit further you might observe someone scraping the fur off a wet deer hide, the end result being a smooth, soft buckskin for making moccasins, bags, gloves, dresses or anything that we make with fabric today. Additionally each year there are a variety of other primitive skill demonstrations including pottery, basket making, blade and axe production, bead making and much more. And before you leave, try your hand at shooting a bow and arrow or throwing a spear using a primitive device known as an atlatl, under the supervision and instruction of a safety officer.
Each year we honor a special guest speaker who gives a presentation on Saturday evening at 8:00 PM. Further, Dr. Errett Callahan, a world-renowned expert in Primitive Technological skills, and other informative guest speakers will lecture during the weekend.
Additionally, on Sunday morning at 8:00 AM there is a Traditional Bow Shoot for anyone bringing a traditional bow, target arrows, flu-flu arrows with judo point, and rubber blunts. This shoot is based in part on Callahan's Roving Handbook. Field shooting will feature rolling inner tubes, discs tossed into the air, and rising balloons. Those wanting to continue can enter the forest range for 24 woodland targets.