Jun 6, 2010

Town Creek Indian Mound Saturday event - 5 minutes from Downtown Mount Gilead, NC

In a free program, Town Creek Indian Mound will highlight the art of weaving on Saturday, June 12, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. as part of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources 2nd Saturdays series. American Indians were weavers of baskets, mats, fabric and nets, and even their homes were woven together. Participating local artisans will include broom makers, basket weavers and jewelry makers.

The 2nd Saturdays program has over 100 free events that bring together artists, history and authentic North Carolina culture. The fun will take place at all 37 of the Department of Cultural Resources’ museums and Historic Sites on June 12, July 10 and Aug. 14.

One of the vendors scheduled to participate at Town Creek June 12 enjoys painting reproduction quilt patterns, which he then places on the side of old barns in the area. Another artist will create handmade paper out of recycled materials and plant fibers; this paper can be used as stationery or art. Items created by the artists will be available for purchase at their booths.

Activities will also be available to the public for free. Participants can view a hands-on demonstration of how American Indians used wattle to make the walls of the huts. Children will enjoy learning cordage (the art of making string or rope) and creating their own bracelets; and staff will make pine needle baskets in the East Lodge.

For more than a thousand years, American Indians farmed lands later known as North Carolina. Around A.D. 1000, a new cultural tradition arrived in the Pee Dee River Valley. Throughout Georgia, South Carolina, eastern Tennessee, and western and southern Piedmont North Carolina, the Mississippian tradition spawned complex societies. Inhabitants built earthen mounds for their leaders, engaged in widespread trade, supported craftspeople and celebrated a new form of religion.

In 1937, excavations began at Town Creek Indian Mound. Key features of the site were reconstructed, including the mound, two temple structures, a burial hut and surrounding stockade. Archaeologists’ excavations revealed that the mound at Town Creek was constructed over an early rectangular structure known as an "earth lodge."

The mission of Town Creek Indian Mound is to interpret the history of the American Indians who once lived here. The visitor center features interpretive exhibits, as well as audiovisual displays. A national historic landmark, Town Creek Indian Mound State Historic Site is North Carolina’s only state historic site dedicated to American Indian heritage. Tour groups are welcome. The site is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, 1-5 p.m. It is closed to the public on Mondays and most major holidays.

The historic site is located on Town Creek Mound Road approximately five miles east of Mt. Gilead, in southern Montgomery County between NC 73 and NC 731. For more information on Town Creek, visit www.towncreek.nchistoricsites.org/ or call (910) 439-6802.