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Kentuckians Before Boone

Kentuckians Before Boone

A. Gwynn Henderson
Phyllis MacAdam General Editor
Copyright Date: 1992
Pages: 64
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  • Book Info
    Kentuckians Before Boone
    Book Description:

    This is an account of a Native American family in central Kentucky in the year 1585. Fishes-With-Hands, his wife She-Who-Watches, and their family grind corn, make cooking pots, and build their homes while in their summer village. In autumn, they attend the funeral and mourning feast of Masked-Eyes. Then they move to their winter hunting camp, where they process nuts, make arrows, and hunt and butcher animals in preparation for the winter. Readers will soon realize that their lives and experiences in many ways parallel those of this family from Kentucky's not-so-distant past.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-4406-1
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. iii-iii)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. iv-iv)
    Virginia G. Smith

    The New Books for New Readers project was made possible by funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Kentucky Humanities Council, and the Scripps Howard Foundation through theKentucky Post. The co-sponsorship and continuing assistance of the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives and the Kentucky Literacy Commission have been essential to our undertaking. We are also grateful for the advice and support provided to us by the University Press of Kentucky. All these agencies share our commitment to the important role that reading books should play in the lives of the people of our state, and their...

  4. Preface
    (pp. v-vi)
  5. About the Author
    (pp. vi-vi)
  6. Picture the Past
    (pp. 1-1)

    This book describes Indian life in central Kentucky before the settlers arrived. The story is fiction, but it is based on the facts as we know them today. We know that people we call Indians or Native Americans lived in central Kentucky for thousands of years. We know about them because we have found the things they left behind. The men and women described in this story were part of a group we now call the Fort Ancient People. Their way of life lasted for over 700 years. This story takes place about 150 years before Daniel Boone was born....

  7. The Natural World
    (pp. 2-6)

    Most of central Kentucky is covered in forest. Some of the oldest trees are so big that three people can’t touch fingertips if they put their arms around a tree’s trunk. Many kinds of trees grow in these forests. They are oak, chestnut, beech, black walnut, maple, yellow poplar, ash, sycamore, hickory, elm, hemlock, and pine.

    Colorful flowers and many types of mushrooms grow in the forests and along the forest edge. Fruits and berries grow on thick vines, low bushes, and smaller trees. Nuts of all sorts also grow on trees.

    Fires set by the Indians or by lightning...

  8. Summer Village
    (pp. 6-23)

    Picture in your mind’s eye a cool late summer morning in prehistoric Kentucky. It’s the kind of morning that signals fall is right around the corner. The sun rose just a short time ago. A thick mist is rising from the river, but it will soon be burned away. The smell of burning wood mixes with the odor of cooking corn, drying meat, tobacco smoke, and garbage.

    The village is beginning to stir. Over 500 people live in this village. Their 25 rectangular, bark-covered houses are scattered along the river bank. Large trees stand next to some of the houses,...

  9. Trade in Salt and Shell
    (pp. 24-33)

    On this bright summer afternoon, the trading party from the village is walking northward at a brisk pace. The travelers are in high spirits. The trading trip was a success. Every step they take brings them closer to home.

    The twelve men walk in single file. They are strung out along the path like the shell beads on the necklaces they carry in their skin bags. The path they follow across this broad wooded ridgetop is little more than a narrow rut in the ground. It is one of many trails in this area that make up the Warriors’ Path....

  10. Death
    (pp. 33-41)

    Some weeks have passed since the traders returned from their trip. This early fall day finds most of the village busy with harvest activities. The open space in front of each house is covered with ears of corn drying on mats in the warm afternoon sun. Mothers and daughters sit side by side near the drying corn. They are shelling kernels from already dried ears or braiding the husks into long corn ropes.

    Other women are returning to the village from the fields. They carry large full baskets of freshly picked corn. They dump the ears of corn onto empty...

  11. Winter Camp
    (pp. 41-52)

    The harvest was a good one. The women have shelled bushels of corn and stored it away. The tobacco hangs in bunches from the rafters of every house. The marriage and harvest ceremonies have been danced for the year, so most of the villagers have moved to their winter hunting camps.

    The village is almost deserted. The elderly and those too sick to travel have stayed behind. So have the smallest children and their mothers, and a few men. The women will care for the children, the sick, and elderly, while the men will hunt for them all.

    This late...

  12. To Step Back in Time …
    (pp. 53-57)

    The story of Fishes-With-Hands and his family shows that our lives are different in many ways from the lives ofprehistoricKentuckians. We lack their clear rivers, fresh food, and slower-paced life, while they lacked our electricity, cars, and grocery stores. But our ways of life also have much in common. We share the importance of family and home, the need to work for a living, the excitement of travel, the sadness of death, and the circle of the seasons.

    Although their way of life vanished over 200 years ago, the Fort Ancient People can live again in our imagination...

  13. Glossary of New Words
    (pp. 58-58)