Shawnee Natives to visit Highland Museum

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 3, 2001

Ashland, Ky.

Tuesday, April 03, 2001

Ashland, Ky. – The scent of the sweet grass rides on the smoke of the council fire. The fragrance of cedar fills the air. The Native American language of the Shawnee can be heard in the distance as the flute keeps melody with the rhythm of the drum.

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The Shawnee, once again, live in the land overlooking the Ohio River. Is this a time warp? No, this is Dr. David Lucas, professor of multicultural studies at Ohio University Southern Campus, hard at work presenting an historically accurate reenactment of the Shawnee, circa 1790.

For more than two years now, Lucas has been doing research on the Shawnee Native Americans who once lived in the Ohio River Valley. He is also Scout Master of Boy Scout Troop 106 in Ironton. He decided that the "ancients should revisit this land, so full of Native American heritage and history."

By invitation of Nancy Smith, Director of the Highland Museum and Discovery Center in Ashland, Dr. Lucas and a team of enactors will present a recreation of a working, living village of the Shawnee. Hundreds of youth from several schools will attend. The village will live during morning hours, April 3-6.

Original and replicated artifacts will be presented. The village is completed with a "wigiwa" Native American cooking area, woodland scenery, and Native American tribal members.

"We have gone to extra lengths to study primary documents and consult with many Shawnee still living in Ohio," Dr. Lucas said. "We are especially grateful to the United Remnant Band of the Shawnee Nation in Urbana and Bellefontaine, Ohio. They have been most helpful in our attempt at recreating life of the Natives in the 1790s.

"This village is like walking back in time 200 years. You have to see it to believe it."

Lucas added, "the ‘New Shawnee’ is what we call the group that lives in this village this summer. We have named the place ‘Our Village.’ We have participants who have Native American blood. All of us have worked very hard and with deep commitment to bring back the dignity, honor and respect for this noble people we call the Shawnee."

For more information about the event, contact Nancy Smith at the Highland Museum at (606) 329-8888.