Saturday, September 28, 2019

Fuzzy Visits Cherokee Country

Hi Kids,
     The building in the picture is 150 years old. It once served as the capitol of the Cherokee Nation. The Cherokees are one of many Indian tribes moved to Oklahoma long ago. Today the building  serves as the Cherokee National History Museum. 
     Exhibits here tell stories of how the Indians used to live, how and why they were moved to Oklahoma, and about their customs and crafts.
     Here's a picture of some special Cherokee clothing -- worn by important members of the tribe. Today Cherokees only wear special clothes at celebrations and ceremonies. Most of the time, they dress just like you, your parents and your teachers dress.
     There are many interesting things in the museum. I liked this exhibit because kids can try to make a basket like the Cherokees can.
     You can even see some school books that Cherokee children used over a hundred years ago. And you can see them up close because everyone who visits gets to borrow an iPad to show more information.  Can you see the small pictures of things? They have the names written in the Cherokee language under each picture.
All the Cherokees can speak English; many can also speak Cherokee.
     After we went to the history museum, we went to the Cherokee Cultural Heritage Center. They have a museum there, too. And they have two outside exhibit areas which are open during the nicer months of the year.
     This is Leon Grayson holding me. He is a Cherokee who knows all about Cherokee history and customs. We are in a re-created Cherokee village like the ones Cherokees lived in in Tennessee 200 years ago. 
     He showed me many of the skills the Cherokees used to hunt and live. He is very good at using a blowgun made from a hollow reed. If you look closely, you can see that his dart hit the target turkey.
     Of course, you know they also hunted with bows and arrows. They made the arrowheads out of rocks. They would chip out the shape by tapping a rock with another rock. It took a long time to learn to do it correctly. Learning to make arrowheads taught young Indians to be patient -- that to do something correctly often took a lot of time. 

     A Cherokee lady named Shyla Diver showed us how she weaves belts with yarn and her fingers.
     After we toured the Indian Village, we went to Adams Corner. This shows what an Indian village in early day Oklahoma would have looked like. It had a school and a church and a blacksmith shop and a general store.   

     Many Native Americans from many tribes live in Oklahoma. It is interesting to learn about their histories and customs. I'm glad Miss Elaine took me to Tahlequah so I could learn more about the Cherokee Nation.
     Before we left, we saw one last exhibit -- a really big one!
Cherokees are famous for weaving beautiful baskets. Two Cherokee ladies made this giant basket -- as tall as a regular ceiling. They used flat reeds (tall, thin marsh plants). They used dyed reeds to create designs on the basket. It took them a long time to make it this big. 

I think it is pretty, don't you?
Your friend,


Monday, September 2, 2019

Fuzzy in Space

Hi Kids,
    I've been out of this world on a planet far, far away. Well, actually, I've been to Disney World but they have a whole new section called Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. It's all pretend, but it's really like being on a strange planet. In this case, the planet is called Batuu. They don't have teddy bears there -- but they do have porgs -- that's me with one of them.
     Even the toys are strange -- here are shelves of Kowakian monkey-lizards. I can't imagine cuddling one of these!
      Batuu is a very hot planet -- they have three suns. And Batuuans don't say "hello," they say "bright suns."
     A lot of work on the planet is done by robots called Droids.

     Maybe you have seen a Star Wars movie -- R2-D2 is a Droid. At the cantina -- a place where Batuuans go to get something to drink -- the DJ is a Droid -- R-3X.

     They have different kinds of foods, too. They drink blue or green milk. Miss Elaine drank some and said it was really good. She also had a vegetable meatball and a yummy dessert.

     In the Star Wars story, the good guys -- the Resistance -- have been defeated by the bad guys -- the First Order. Members of the Resistance are hiding out on Batuu. Their equipment is all old and rusty and they are trying to rebuild their force to combat the First Order.
     Their most important piece of equipment is the Millennium Falcon -- a space ship described as "a piece of junk."

     This is me by the Millennium Falcon.

     Some members of the First Order have come to Batuu to look for the members of the Resistance. They have an army of Storm Troopers who question the Batuuans about the Resistance.

     This is the TIE Echelon, the space ship of the leader of the First Order.

     The Star Wars stories are exciting and it's fun to pretend to be in one. Here was the most exciting thing. Miss Elaine got to pilot the Millennium Falcon. 

     They weren't going to let me go because I am not tall enough -- but they let me ride in Miss Elaine's purse. You can see through the front of the ship -- it looks like you are really flying around buildings and over mountains and are ducking asteroids. Miss Elaine was a really bad driver and we had several crashes. Since it was just make-believe, we didn't get hurt.
     This was a really great trip but I'm glad I don't live on Batuu. I hope you enjoyed our visit!