Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Learning about Cedar

Right now in Social Studies, we are studying the First Nations people of the Pacific Northwest Coast. We are very fortunate to have Aboriginal cultural facilitators in our school district who give presentations to enhance our curriculum. Last week, Richard came into our class to teach us about the importance of the cedar tree to the First Nations people of this area. They called cedar the "Tree of Life" because they used it for so many different things. Objects made out of cedar included: longhouses, canoes, paddles, clothing, baskets, boxes, totem poles, rope, tools and many other items. Here are a few of the things made of cedar that Richard brought to show us.

Next, Richard taught us the process of cedar twining.  Traditionally, the First Nations would twine cedar to use as rope.  In partners, we twined the cedar to create bracelets.  To twine the cedar securely, you first twist a section of the bark, then overlap one part of the bark over the other.  The technique takes a bit of practice, but when it's done correctly the rope is very strong.  Here we are hard at work.

 Thank you Richard for teaching us about cedar!

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