The South Arkansas Historical Preservation Society held its weekly Tinker Tuesday event yesterday. Krystal Whitecloud of the United Lumbee Nation was the featured speaker and shared traditional Native American stories as well as teaching those in attendance about dream catchers and how to make them.
Tinker Tuesday is a relatively new event for SAHPS. Steve Biernacki, preservation society director, shared the motivation behind holding these weekly learning events for the community.
“This is an opportunity for us to be in the community, with the kids, and educate them on history,” Biernacki said. “We try to keep history alive and the best way to do that is to pass stories down to the children and the next generation. Also, with COVID, we didn’t have an opportunity to be in the schools last year and that is a big part of our program.”
Biernacki also explained where the idea for Tinker Tuesday originated.
“I decided to steal an idea from a friend of mine who is at the science museum in Little Rock,” Biernacki said. “They do Tinker Tuesday up there with science experiments and we do history lessons… We hope to have a dozen or more kids every week by the end of the summer.”
Tinker Tuesday is held in the Gallery of History at the SAHPS facility. The children and adults in attendance this Tuesday got to explore the history, tools, artifacts and more of Native Americans.
Krystal Whitecloud had several handcrafted pieces of her own that she shared with those in attendance, including a dress that took her over a year to make.
“Way back then, there wasn’t any cloth. Europeans hadn’t come to this country yet, so our clothing was made out of whatever was around you,” Whitecloud explained. “If you lived in the plains, you would use buffalo and elk. If you were in the woodlands you would have deer. They would use the hides, the skins, everything.”
The children took turns passing around some of the artifacts that Whitecloud brought with her and got to ask questions around some of the history she shared. The children also got to paint and tell their own stories onto rocks. Rock art is a tradition of Native Americans that those in attendance got to explore and create.
Tinker Tuesdays are from 10 a.m. to noon at 412 E Faulkner St. in the Gallery of History.