Available For Teaching Opportunities

Benjamin Pressley

1403 Killian Rd., Stanley, NC 28164 Phone: (704) 827-0723 E-Mail: [email protected] OFFERING WORKSHOPS, PROGRAMS AND PRESENTATIONS IN PRIMITIVE, SURVIVAL & WILDERNESS LIVING SKILLS Basic Primitive/Survival Skills, Wilderness Tool Making, Braintan Buckskin, Traps & Snares, Primitive/Survival Hunting Weaponry, Primitive Jewelry, Primitive Fishing Technologies, Primitive Lighting Methods, Wilderness Cooking, Fire Making, Fire Craft, Rope Craft, Shelter Building, Pre-Historic and 18th Century Life In America.. .And More! MUSEUM EXHIBITS Complete Media Package Available On Request

Many Books By Benjamin Pressley Under $5.00. Primitive Hunting Weaponry and Many Primitive, Replicated Items For Sale. Custom Made To Order. Send $3.00 For Complete Catalog (Refunded as a credit on first order.)

Mike SL Susan Geno

11629 Mirror Lake Dr., Charlotte, NC 28226, Phone: (704) 542-8991 Gourd Craft: Rattles, Drums, Bowls Bamboo Craft: Drums, Flutes, Rainsticks Rawhide Rattles, Shakers, Hardwood Flutes and Other Instruments Hide Working Tools


ANCIENT WHISPERS Hide Working Tool Prices Scraper (Hi-Carbon Steel): $50 Flesher (Stainless Steel): $25 _Please include $5 S&H


TRIBE is planning an exciting season of workshops for everyone for 1997! So, keep your eyes here for great learning opportunities ahead!

Here are a few possibilities and ideas we are tossing around:

4RPrimitive Skills Comprehensive: 8 Lessons Total (One lesson =

1-2 days long), One a Month, covering a variety of primitive, wilderness living skills. Be writing me now and let me know if this type of class interests you. We will cover quite a list of various primitive skills (Fire making, shelter, water sources, primitive hunting weaponry, basic stone tools, cordage, basketry and other containers, burden baskets, glues and bindings, and much more!) as comprehensively as possible. Golden opportunity at a great price. I'm thinking $45 per lesson. You can pay all at once or for 4 lessons at a time, in advance. We will keep the class small, too, say, a limit of 7. We can work out the schedule between March, April and July through September.

(HBlowguns 4ftAdvanced Atlatl Construction & Use GDugout Canoe Construction BFlintknapping: Courses for beginners, intermediate and advanced levels of learning. Wraps & Snares HAdvanced & Applied Primitive Fishing Technologies And Much More!

_Here's What Is Scheduled, So Far:_


Taught By Benjamin Pressley, Robert Likas & Mike Geno April 4-6,1997 Learn to tan deer hides by the method probably most used by Native Americans and probably still is the most economical and best way of tanning most animal hides. Everyone will go home

FULL TIME BLACKSMITH I do full-time blacksmith work, Pow-Wows, Rendezvous', teach and work with less fortunate children. Mustang Trading Co.. 228 NW Ave., Carpentetsville, IL 60110, Phone: (847)426-8119

with a soft, finished deer hide of their own and the knowledge to tan more. All tools, materials and deer hides are furnished. WE ARE ALREADY GETTING DEPOSITS IN FOR THIS CLASS, SO, IF YOU'RE INTERESTED, YOU BETTER SIGN UP NOW!

ALL PROCEEDS OF THIS WORKSHOP WILL BE DONATED TO HELP SUPPORT TRIBE. More details furnished in information packet mailed closer to time of workshop for all registered. See registration information below. TOTAL PRICE: $65 This workshop will only hold 15 students at the most so get your $10 deposit in now to assure your place in this workshop. Make all checks payable to and mail to TRIBE at the address below.

Also read cancellation policy below.

WORKSHOP LOCATIONS All workshops are held in Charlotte, NC area unless indicated differently. You will be contacted with details, directions, etc. upon receiving your deposit and registration, close to time of workshop. If workshop is for more that one day primitive camping space will be provided (i.e. no modem facilities), water, access to firewood. We can also assist you in finding a motel nearby, if you need one, at your own expense. You must furnish all your own meals and personal gear, unless otherwise indicated. All tools, materials, etc. needed for workshop are furnished, unless otherwise indicated. It is always good to bring a sharp pocketknife, though. POLICY ON DEPOSITS, CANCELLATIONS, AND PAYMENT: All deposits are non-refundable unless you cancel 30 days prior to workshop. If we cancel or change to a date that is inappropriate for you then all money will be refunded at your request. Deposits not eligible for refund may be applied to credit with TRIBE (There may be some exceptions.). Payment of any balances are due at least by arrival to workshop. Make all checks, etc. payable to TRIBE. Mail all registrations and moneys to:

TRIBE, P.O. Box 20015, Charlotte, NC 28202. PHONE: (704) 827-0723, E-Mail: [email protected]. If you have any further questions, please feel free to write or call.

Ads will run FREE of charge for 3 issues, but may be renewed on request. Look for number of symbols for how many issues your ad has ran.

new books in review

Check your local bookstore for the titles below unless ordering information is included.

Ads will run FREE of charge for 3 issues, but may be renewed on request. Look for number of symbols for how many issues your ad has ran.

Tomahawks and Throwing knives at Discount Prices!! Call toll free: 1-888-556-2572 for your FREE CATALOG or write to: Sunshine Knife Outlet, 2665 Montego Bay Blvd., Kissimmee, FL 34746

The American Knife Thrower's Alliance is looking for new members to preserve and promote knife and tomahawk throwing as a sport and hobby. A free subscription of The Bullseve Buster newsletter with every membership. For information write to: AKTA, 4976 Seewee Rd„ Dept. T, Awendaw, SC 29429, Phone: (803) 928-3624

I would like to communicate with people in the Midwest who have similar interests or skills in primitive technologies. I offer the knowledge of primitive bow & arrow building and some cordage making.

Flint Kemper, P.O. Box 79, Alexander, IL 62601 Phone: (217)478-3121

THE SPEARS OF TWILIGHT: Life and Death in the Amazon Jungle, By Philippe Descola, Translated from the French by Janet Lloyd; New Press; $25,504 pages Book Review/ NONACTION By MICHAEL HARRIS LA Times, Monday, November 18,1996, ©Los Angeles Times

One can't read French anthropologist Philippe Descola's account of his three years with the Achuar tribe of eastern Ecuador without marveling at human beings' ability to make life complicated.

Devotion to the arcane Western religion called science led Descola and his fiancee, Anne Christine, to risk their lives among the Achuar—former headhunters and headshrinkers still renowned for their bloody intra-tribal vendettas.

From 1976 to 1978, the couple learned their hosts' language, mastered intricate codes of etiquette, ate raw tobacco and monkeys' paws, drank manioc beer, took hallucinogens, made long journeys on foot and by canoe, studied the methods of shamans, endured hardships that, in the best ethnographic tradition, they mention only in passing-all for the sake of the thousands of pages of notes that became this book.

As for the Achuar themselves~a sub-tribe of the Jivaro group, scattered thinly over an area the size of Portugal in the eastern foothills of the Andes-their seemingly simple life of hunting, fishing and gathering embodied complexities that Descola admits he came to understand only sketchily.

Descola, a disciple of Claude Levi-Strauss, discovered that the inhabitants of Ecuadorian frontier towns, even the neighboring tribes that traded with the Achuar, knew almost nothing about them. And what they did know was a mishmash of scare stories that had been recycled back and forth between the New World and the Old for centuries.

Achuar's "sinister reputation," he says, obscured the fact that they had stopped headhunting generations ago and had even forgotten that they were headhunters, thanks to the lack of interest in the past that is a notable aspect of their culture.

His only clues: fragments of poetry that corresponded with ceremonies still performed by other Jivaro tribes that had abandoned the practice more recently.

In his zeal to substitute verifiable fact for the tales long circulated by "travelers in search of exotic adventure," Descola knowingly lived out an adventure of his own-the adventure of learning a radically different way of experiencing the world-even as he observed the drama of murder, revenge and abduction among the Achuar.

Anthropology, he concedes, is an inexact science. Like the efforts of the missionaries, it's all too easily contaminated by the prejudices and assumptions the researchers bring with them.

The value of "The Spears of Twilight" lies not just in what it is—a vivid narrative that makes Descola's adventute ours as well-but in the kinds of books about Native Americans that it isn't.

It isn't a book about disease-ridden, benighted savages in sore need of civilizing. Nor, on the contrary, is it a standard lament for helpless rain-forest dwellers about to be crushed by civilization. The Achuar as Descola sees them are tough and adaptable~and full of contradictions.

Achuar, who have never seen a wliite person, trade for rifles, machetes, transistor radios and Hawaiian shirts. In crowded, polygamous households, they practice modesty and reserve. Amid abundant food supplies, they restrict their diet with multiple taboos. They view a seemingly innocuous activity like gardening as a perilous exchange of vital essences with bloodsucking plants. Though constant violence destabilizes their society, it also gives their egalitarian individualism full play-no true chiefs, no hereditary status.

In the end, none of this seems particularly strange. The Achuar simply complicate their lives in different ways than we do with the excess brain power not needed for survival. They aren't "just like us," or disgustingly primitive, or shining examples of virtues that civilization has stripped from us-but they are recognizably and fully human. Learning about them, we enlarge our idea of what the human can be.

Testing Your Outdoor Survival Skills by Christopher Nyerges, Price $12.00 post paid. Purchase from ; School of Self Reliance, P.O. Box 41834, Los Angeles, CA 90041, Phone: (213) 255-9502. E-mail:[email protected]. WWW Homepage: http://www.eaithlink.net/-nyerges

Christopher Nyerges is well known and experienced in the topics he covers in this excellent new notebook he has to offer. This book is in a workbook format and is a compilation of tests, data, quizzes and answers and information that Christopher has taught since 1975. This is an ideal workbook for a teacher to use with groups or anyone interested in survival skills. "Real learning is not about memorizing facts and figures. Rather, real learning takes place when you use your creative thinking to solve very real problems. Thus, these survival skills are equally useful and valuable in the remote wilderness as they are in the middle of major urban centers." -Christopher Nyerges

Naked Into The Wilderness 2: Primitive Wilderness Skills, Applied & Advanced By John & Geri McPherson Price: $24.95 ppd. (Deduct $5.00 per copy for 2 or more) John & Geri McPherson are well blown for their experience in the field and their high quality instruction books and videos worldwide. They are now taking orders for their new book due off of the press by December 1,1996. Chapters include information on: Hantavirus, Nutrition for the primitive, Braintanning robes & furs, Dugout canoe with stone tools, Primitive primitive, Three sequential days spent primitively, A short story based on characters from Geri's just completed novel based on the stone age, as well as several odds and ends. This book is for the novice outdoorsman and the professional woodsman alike. Also ask for a complete listing of other books and videos they have to offer. Available from:

PRAIRIE WOLF, John & Geri McPherson, P.O. Box 96W,

Randolph, KS 66554, ORDERS ONLY: 1-800-258-1232

Living The Simple Life, ISBN: 07868-6219X, $14.95 Simplify Your Life, ISBN: 07868-80007, $7.95 by Elaine St. James

I hope these books aren't out of line as resources for us folks practicing primitive skills. They aren't about primitive skills, actually, but they are about getting us to re-think about all the stuff we have that we consider to be necessities that keep us bound up because of the bills we have to pay to keep up with our stuff. They are practical books about how to simplify your life so you can free up some time and money to be able to enjoy practicing primitive skills or whatever you want to do. Society dictates so much to us about what is valuable and what we can't do without. These books will get you on the way to escaping the mad, hectic pace that many of us are living. Topics like: ways to get organized on daily chores, re-evaluate whether the car we drive is costing us more than it should, could we live in a smaller house, get a job that doesn't take up as much of our time and still make a living, and much more. Check them out. You won't regret it.

Conquering The Darkness: Primitive Lighting Methods by

Benjamin Pressley, Price: $4.00 plus $2.00 shipping and handling.

How did ancient people light up the night and explore in the darkest, longest caves of the earth? How did they light the caves to do the spectacular art work on cave walls still visible today? Benjamin Pressley has tested torches in cave exploration. He has researched and tested many torches, lamps and 'wild' candles and now offers the benefit of that research to you in his latest book on primitive lighting methods. Tried and proven methods for lighting your camp, trail or cave!

Wilderness Notebook by Benjamin Pressley, Price: $24.00 plus $2.00 shipping and handling

Packed full of clear, concise, instructional drawings on various primitive skill and wilderness living subjects. Many of these drawings have appeared in such magazines as Backwoodsman and Wilderness Way.

Resource List, Compiled by Benjamin Pressley, Price: $5.00 post paid.

Do you want an up to date, really great listing of resources? Where to acquire resources for primitive skills and outdoor activity. Instructors. Magazines and Newsletters. Bibliography of books and where to get them. Topically & alphabetically arranged to make it easy to use. Great Resource! Great Price!

Order from: WIND SONG PRIMITIVES, 1403 KillianRd., Stanley, NC 28164. Make checks payable to Benjamin Pressley or Benjamin Pressley/WINDSONG PRIMITIVES.

Entire catalog available for $3.00 (Refunded as a credit on first order)

We would really like to hear from some of you about resources you know of thai those who practice, primitive, survival and wilderness living skills could benefit from.

WILD EDIBLE & MEDICINAL PLANTS: Grow Your Own Shitake Mushroom Log

Order from: WIND SONG PRIMITIVES, 1403 KillianRd., Stanley, NC 28164. Make checks payable to Benjamin Pressley or Benjamin Pressley/WINDSONG PRIMITIVES.

Entire catalog available for $3.00 (Refunded as a credit on first order)

We would really like to hear from some of you about resources you know of thai those who practice, primitive, survival and wilderness living skills could benefit from.

Logs inoculated with shitake spawn and ready to fruit. Grown on oak, sweet gum and similar hardwoods. Available from Lost Creek Mushroom Farm, P.O. Box 520, Rt. 2, Box 1305, Perkins, OK 74059-0520, Phone: 1-800-7920053. Internet: http://www.cowboy.net/~lcmf/ Ma Parker Herb Booklets by Cindy Parker $4.00 each or all six for $20.00

Handy, pocket-size booklets to introduce you to the world of herbs. Available from: Healing Heart Herbals, Box 8651, Newark, OH 43058.

Crawdads, Doodlebugs & Creasy Greens by Doug Elliott Price: $4.00 plus $3.00 shipping & handling. Folklore, songs and stories with the natural history of more than 30 plants and animals. Available from: Native Ground Music, 109 Bell Rd., Asheville, NC 28805, Phone: 1-800-7522656.

Useful Wild Plants, Inc., 2612 Sweeney Lane, Austin, TX 78723, Phone: (512) 928-4441

This is a project tlmt is set out to explore the wild plants and their future as a renewable resource for food, pharmaceuticals, fuel, food and more. Sort of a "rainforest project" in our own backyard. They offer membership, involvement and the first in a series of comprehensive volumes on the subject. Write for more information.

Want to know more about where to learn about medicinal and edible wild plants? Try these resources: Newsletter, information on books, courses, etc.:

THE WILD FOODS FORUM, Vickie Shufer, Editor, P.O. Box 61413,Virginia Beach, VA 23462. Newsletter, $15.00 Domestic/ $16.50 International per year. Bi-Monthly.

Teachers (I tried to list at least one in each 'corner' of the USA. Write Vickie Shufer at Wild Foods Forum for more, if you don't see one listed nearby you.): •Yonah Earthskills, 'Snow Bear' Steven Taylor, Rt. 5, Box 396, Hayesville, NC 28904, Phone: (704) 389-9336 •Northeast School of Botanical Medicine, P.O. Box 6626, Ithaca, NY 14851, Phone: (607) 564-1023 •Judy Josiah, Byron, GA, Phone: (912) 956-3446 •School of Self Reliance, Christopher Nyeiges, P.O. Box 41834, Los Angeles, CA 90041, Phone: (213) 255-9502 •Russ Cohen, New England area, Phone: (617) 646-7489 •"Wildman" Steve Brill, For schedule send SASE to 143-25 84th Dr., Suite 6C, Jamaica, NY 11435 •Linda Runyon, Wild Foods Co., Inc., 13239 W. Shadow Hills Dr., Sun City West, AZ 35375, Phone: (602) 933-8675 •Judy Siegel, Portland, OR, Phone: (503) 981-4818 •Nature's Nurture, For information send SASE to: 2305 Park Ave., Richmond, VA 23220, Phone: (804) 358-4060


You've heard me talk about Backwoodsman magazine, right? Well Charlie Richie's son has also started a magazine that really looks good. I think you will enjoy it and find it very informative. He is also accepting manuscripts from new and established writers. Great magazine on various subjects., such as homesteading, gardening, self sufficiency, primitive skills and more.

EARTHWORKS, P.O. Box 20, Victor, ID 83455


BAIKI, P.O. Box 7431, Minneapolis, MN 55407 Subscription Rate: $20.00 (1 year, 4 issues) $35.00 (2 Years) Jim Lowety {dirt times/Earth Skills) told me about this great newsletter. Its focus is on tlie Sami ("Lapp") people. They are the indigenous inhabitants of Norway, Sweden and Finland and the Russian Kola Peninsula. About 100,000 Samit live in the Nordic countries today, half in Norway. They also estimate that as many as 30,000 people of Sami ancestry live in North America. Baiki ("ba-hee-kee") is the nomadic reindeer herding society's word for cultural survival. Jim tells me this newsletter has articles on arctic/boreal survival skills and a soul behind it that is close to what we are trying to practice. They sound like a worthy cause to support also as they seek to reconnect and preserve a culture that has all but disappeared.


SASQUATCH WAY, For more information write: Nachshon Rose, P.O. Box 2143, Simi Valley, CA 93062, Phone: (805) 522-7344

This group sent us a really interesting and extensive list of classes they have scheduled, too numerous for what space allows in this newsletter. So, be sure and write and ask for their schedule of classes they offer if you live in their area or want to travel to their area. Well worth checking out.


Bob Booth of Bob Booth's Primitive Weapons has an interesting inventory of primitive weaponry. His inventory of blowguns are made from metal as are some of the other items he sells. Kind of Hi-Tech/Lo-Tech, but I am sure they will interest most of you. You really ought to check out his catalog of blowguns, bolas, atlatls and slings His catalog may be requested from: Bob Booth's Primitive Weapons, 6043 N. Minnesota, Portland, OR 97217.


High Hallack, Andre Norton, 1600 Spruce St., Winter Park, FL 32789

High Hallack is/will be a retreat center for writers. It is a plateau of 70 acres in the mountains of Tennessee, situated near the towns of Monterey, Cookeville and Crossville in Putnam County. Totally secluded, yet easy to reach. They plan to build a library complex with rooms for seminars and meetings, as well as cottages. Already they have acquired over 10,000 volumes. They are non-profit and seeking funds to develop the land that is already paid for, if you wish to donate.

N.C. Indian Cultural Center, 1 Recreation Center Rd., P.O. Box 2410, Pembroke, NC 28372, Phone: (910) 521-2433

Permanent exhibits on Indian life, history and culture, arts and crafts displays, museum and library, nature and canoe trails, entertainment and recreational activities, restaurants and conference facilities. They are also always on the lookout for someone to do programs and classes pertinent to Native American life.


Boomerangs (Source: Boomerang News, Editor, Ted Bailey):

http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~brazelto/the_booms.html http://www.ozsales.com.au/product/brokenhill.html

Plants and Uses (Source: Wild Foods Forum, Editor, Vickie Shufer):

Agricultural Research Service

Phytochemical & ethnobotanical databases.


American Indian Ethnobotany Database


The Ethnobotany Cafe



Information for anything herbal, including herbal cultivation, uses and latest research.



Ted Bailey (Boomerang News) sent me a catalog that is really great. Its focus is on knitting, weaving, spinning, basketry, dyeing and beadwork and other related technologies, primitive and modern. They have books and videos. It contains more books on the subject than any catalog I've ever seen, including books like: Prehistoric Textiles, Textiles 500 years, Splint Woven Basketry, How To Weave A Pine Needle Basket, Fibre Basketry (Australian), Native American Beadwork, Natural Dyeing, Putting On The Dog (spinning dog and cat hair), Braids: 250 patterns from Japan, Peru & Beyond (includes a chapter on Peruvian sling braiding), and much more. I always say, "Knowledge is a circle", what you learn in one technology is not necessarily limited to that technology only. What you can learn from these books, even the modern ones, you will find valuable in your mastery of primitive fiber technologies and applications. The catalog costs $3.00 and is available from: Unicorn Books & Crafts, Inc., 1338 Ross St., Petaluma, CA 94954-6502, Phone: 1-800-289-9276. They also have a mini version of their catalog that lists 2000 books (It may be free, at least I did not see a price associated with it.).

55th Annual Gourd Festival of the Gourd Village

Garden Club —Great Gourd Resource—

By Susan Geno_

I recently had the pleasure of attending and participating in (as a vendor) in the 55th Annual Gourd Festival of the Gourd Village Garden Club in Apex, NC!

The festival was originally scheduled for Sept. 7th & 8th at their usual location in the Cary Community Center. However, Hurricane Fran blew those plans away at the last minute and the event had to be rescheduled. It was the first time in the clubs history that they ever had to cancel an event at the last minute like that, but, let's face it! Our friends in the entire Raleigh-Durham area were going through quite an ordeal! With no electricity and power lines and trees down everywhere you turned it was soon evident that the festival simply could not go on. Since the Cary Community Center is booked months in advance the event could not be rescheduled at the location where they have held their festival for the past 25 years, so the search was on! They found a location at the C.C. Jones

Community Center in Apex, NC, only five minutes away and the festival was on again for Nov 9th & 10th. My hat is off to Mary Ann Rood, President of the club, and to those who helped her manage to pull off the event after all, in spite of their setbacks! I'm sure I speak for others, as well as myself, when I say thank you for your efforts!

Even though changing the date and location of this longstanding event did hurt the attendance they normally have it was still a great success and a lot of fun! There was a nice variety of gourd art to choose from with over 20 vendors, both local and from far away. Tliere were a few gourd growers on hand, as well, with locally grown gourds for sale to help you get started. Throughout the two day festival there were demonstrations on gourds and gourd crafting, such as painting and woodburning gourds, growing luffa gourds and a rousing demonstration of gourd musical instruments, to name a few! One of the highlights of the festival is always a fabulous display of gourds, courtesy of The Marvin Johnson Gourd Museum in Fuquay, NC. It was a lot of fun! I learned some more things about gourds, met some really nice people, bought some more gourds and finally got my own copy of the new book out now "The Complete Book of Gourd Craft" (see Book Review in this newsletter). I even sold a few pieces of my own artwork that paid for my trip and got to visit with my sister-in-law, niece and nephew to boot! So, it was a great weekend for me!

Since this was the club's 55th (!) Annual Festival, which I find amazing, I was curious about how it all began so I asked the President of the club, Mary Ann Rood, about the club's history. She graciously filled me in over a conversation on the phone and even faxed me a copy of an article she wrote for their 50th Festival detailing some of the history of the club. It seems there are two legends of how it all began. The legend she prefers is that someone (a family member of hers) found a birdhouse gourd in her grandmothers old smokehouse shed. They broke open the gourd, shared the seeds and agreed to get together at the end of the season to see what the harvest brought. And so it began in 1934!

The other legend is that they got interested in trying to grow gourds from reading articles in magazines and bought a packet of seeds (mixed ornamentals) to share from a local seed store and that harvest was the beginning. They were so enthusiastic about the results that they contacted the International Gourd Society with headquarters in California (which soon disbanded) for seed and thus began growing gourds in the East.

In 1937 they entered a display of their gourds at the NC State Fair in Raleigh. Their display attracted so much attention that they felt justified in forming a club so, on Dec. 27,1937, they organized themselves as an actual club called The Gourd Gardeners, the oldest gourd club in the nation., with Mary Ann Roods grandmother, Mrs. Mary Wilkinson, as its President. Around the same time they were writing their bylaws the New England Gourd Society of America was being formed and they became the Alpha Chapter of what is now known as the American Gourd Society.

In 1938 they held their first festival, the first of its kind in the South, in the Home Economics .Dept. of the local high school. Immediately afterwards they changed their name to The Gourd Village Garden Club of Cary. They remained a small but very active and enthusiastic club for many years who met monthly and had programs that consisted of papers and discussions on various phases of gourd growing by the members.

On Dec. 6,1941 the club held their annual Christmas party. They awoke the next morning to radio news accounts of the bombing of Peari Harbor. Their gourd gardens became Victory gardens and festivals were suspended until the war was over and peace had reigned again. What gourds were grown and the ones they had on hand were sent to hospitals for craftwork for convalescent soldiers and afghans were made and worked with gourd designs for these soldiers. When the festivals resumed they were held in various places, wherever they could find space, such as a dry cleaners, the cannery at the school and in an upholstery store. Drought also meant several years without festivals.

Nearly 30 years ago, under the leadership of Marvin Johnson, the club helped build Jordan Hall, Cary's community center, with a large contribution in honor of Mrs. Mary Wilkinson, the founding President of the club. In 1969 their 29th Gourd Festival was the first event held in the new building and they've been holding it there ever since. Traditionally the festival is held the weekend after Labor Day.

The club has grown and changed in many ways over the years. In the earlier years the focus of this small club was more on the raw gourds and the collected gourds of its members. Marvin Johnson contacted people all over the world and got seeds from them and generously shared them with members of the club who soon began growing many varieties of gourds. For more than 35 years Marvin Johnson collected and preserved gourd craft from around the world. When the founding editor of the original national gourd society magazine retired she asked Marvin Johnson to carry on her work. The collected craft of 30 years of the Gourd Society of America, which later became the American Gourd Society (as it is known today) found a new home in Fuquay, NC, hence the Marvin Johnson Gourd Museum. Part of this amazing collection of gourds includes American Indian craft collected by Prof. Frank Speck, author of Gourds of the Southeastern Indians.

During the 1980's the club underwent more changes as it became difficult to find volunteers because people were busy with work and so forth. For a time they weren't as active as in the past but interest in the club grew again as more and more people became interested in crafting with gourds. Their membership has grown considerably from their humble beginning of seven charter members. As their membership varied through the years so did the focus of the club from an original interest in growing and collecting gourds through many different phases of crafting with gourds. There always have been members in their club who were interested in the more traditional and primitive uses of gourds but the trend in their membership now reflects that more and more people are interested in that area of the world of gourds once again. This renewed interest has created a very diverse membership for them that covers all areas of interests concerning gourds and makes them a terrific resource for anyone wanting to learn more about gourds, no matter what your level of interest is.

If you would like to join their club or learn more about them you can contact them by writing to: The Gourd Village Garden Club , 4008 Green Level Rd. West, Apex, NC 27502. Membership dues are $12.00 and includes automatic membership in the American Gourd Society. With your membership you will receive The Gourd magazine four times a year with gourd news from around the world, plus you will also receive their own newsletter with their Chapter news. The address for The American Gourd Society, Inc. is: PO Box 274, Mt. Gilead, Ohio 43338-0274 if you would like to contact them directly.

Book Review: The Complete Book of Gourd Crqft by Ginger Summit and Jim Widess

For all you gourd lovers out there (and even for those with only a mild interest!) if you haven't seen this book yet then RUN, don't walk, to your nearest book store and ask for a copy today! It's fantastic!

It has seven chapters that contain 22 projects, 55 decorative techniques and 300 inspirational designs! It begins with a brief introduction of the history and culture of gourds and then goes into defining, identifying and growing gourds, complete with a photograph chart of the basiic types of gourds.

Chapter Two covers the general processes for curing gourds, cleaning the exterior, cutting open and cleaning the interior and several techniques for making things with gourds. That includes various finishes you can use, how to attach handles and lids, making repairs, etc. The following chapters cover color (stains, inks, dyes, etc.), woodburning and carving, basketry and weaving on gourds, decoupage, etc,., etc., etc.!

Each chapter has step-by-step instructions for different techniques and projects with great how-to photographs, hi fact, tlie entire book is full of 'gourdeous' photos that will truly inspire you and make you want to drop everything for awhile and just play with gourds!

For everyone from the beginner to the accomplished artist, from the purest of the primitive purists to the person who doesn't even have a clue about gourds, you'll love this book! You'll love it because of all the great info and tips for crafting with gourds, but, if for no other reason, you'll also love it for the stunning photographs of gourd art by many different and very creative artists from around the world. You'll definitely want this book on your Christmas Wish List!

Susan Geno is known for her expertise and gourdcraft. Her and her husband together own and operate Ancient Whispers (See ad in this issue.). If you wish to contact Susan for more information and/or a brochure you may write her at: Ancient Whispers, Mike & Susan Geno, 11629 Mirror Lake Dr., Charlotte, NC 28226, Phone: (704) 542-8991

Below is a directory and short description and review by Benjamin Pressley of magazines and newsletters that are worth getting, in our opinion. They have been more fully reviewed in previous issues of TRIBE. This is not meant to be an exhaustive directory of newsletters and magazines we know about.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment