Gayle Ross will be at Cahokia Mounds on May 5 at 2 pm as part of the 36th Annual St. Louis Storytelling Festival. This Festival is sponsored by the University of Missouri – St. Louis. Gayle is a descendent of John Ross, principal chief of the Cherokee Nation during and after the infamous Trail of Tears of the late 1830s. Her grandmother told stories, and Gayle’s storytelling springs from this rich heritage. During the past 20 years, she has become one of the most respected storytellers to emerge from the current surge of interest in this timeless art form. She has appeared at most major storytelling and folk festivals in the United States and Canada and in concert halls and theaters throughout the U.S. and Europe, often with some of today’s finest Native American musicians and dancers. To learn more about the UMSL Storytelling Festival, visit; http://extension.missouri.edu/storytelling. for more information about the storytelling event at Cahokia Mounds, call 618-346-5160.
The second installment of the series takes place on February 18 at 2:00 pm in the Interpretive Center Auditorium. In this presentation, Dr. David Dye, Professor of Archaeology in the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Memphis, will present, “The Lower Mississippi Valley Dark Ages: Deities, Rituals, and Trade”. When the Hernando de Soto expedition crossed the Mississippi River in 1541, they discovered numerous towns and extensive fields scattered along meandering rivers and oxbow lakes. However, Marquette and Joliet, in their descent of the river in 1673, found an empty land devoid of the once prosperous chiefdoms, with the exception of the recently arrived Quapaw. The years sandwiched between the Spanish conquistadores and French explorers has been a poorly known “Dark Age” for archaeologists. On-going analysis of locally crafted ritual ceramics and introduced exotic goods, especially marine shell and symbolic weaponry, is beginning to help unveil the Lower Mississippi Valley’s turbulent history. In this talk, Dye argues for links with the early fur trade, which transformed Mississippian society, but also contained the seeds for its demise by the mid-seventeenth century.
The Winter Lecture Series is an annual winter event at Cahokia Mounds. One lecture is held per month in January, February, and March. These are generally one hour presentations on topics related to archaeology or Cahokia Mounds, followed by a brief Q&A period. The lectures are free and are held in the Interpretive Center auditorium at 2 pm. This series is brought to you by the Cahokia Mounds Museum Society.
The first lecture will be held on January 28 when Mark Wagner, PhD presents his lecture titled, “Bound to the Western Waters: Searching for Lewis and Clark at Ft. Kaskaskia, Illinois.” Fort Kaskaskia is a 1750s French state historic site in Randolph County, Illinois, that has long been believed to have been the site of a later American fort of the same name from which Lewis and Clark recruited 12 soldiers for their expedition to explore the American west in 1803. SIU Carbondale archaeological field school investigations at Ft. Kaskaskia in 2017 revealed that it indeed is a 1750s French fort but found no evidence that it had ever been visited by Lewis and Clark. Instead, we discovered the remains of the American Ft. Kaskaskia (1802-1807) on a separate hill top 300 m to the north. In this talk, Wagner discusses the history and archaeology of the two forts and plans for additional field school investigations at both sites in 2018.
Mark Wagner is the Director of the Center for Archaeological Investigations (CAI) and an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. His research interests include late eighteenth to early nineteenth century Native American and colonial period archaeology as well as the prehistoric Native American rock art of Illinois.
The Annual Fund Drive is the only general appeal for funds per year. The drive raises money for the Cahokia Mounds Museum Society (the support group at Cahokia Mounds). These funds are used to pay expenses for all events such as Kids Day, outreach efforts such as Archaeology Day, land acquisition, and the summer archaeology field school taking place at Cahokia Mounds. These funds are vital to the ongoing mission of the Society to preserve and interpret ancient culture at Cahokia Mounds. Please support the site with your donation. With your donation of $120 or more, you receive this T Shirt available only to Annual Fund Drive donors. It features the fenestrated gorget, made from lightning whelk and found at Cahokia Mounds in 1969 by Charles Bareis. For more information, call Lori at 618-344-7316, or visit our website at www.cahokiamounds.org.
Bill Iseminger, an Assistant Manager at the site, was the recipient of the Bareis Distinguished Service Award from the Illinois State Archaeological Survey on September 16. Bill has worked in Illinois archaeology since 1967 when he began his career on a crew at Dickson Mounds. In 1971, he began working at Cahokia Mounds as an archaeologist and was instrumental in the research, planning, and implementation of the exhibits of both the on-site museum in the 70’s and the Interpretive Center, which opened in 1989. He has been an advocate of Cahokia Mounds and Illinois archaeology for the duration of his professional career and his given over 1200 off-site presentations about various aspects of the site. His passion and dedication to the Interpretation of Cahokia Mounds is boundless. We estimate that his live voice, written works, and artistic representations have reached millions of people of all ages and numerous walks of life. Congratulations to Bill!
We are happy to announce that the Employees Community Fund of Boeing has awarded Cahokia Mounds a grant to produce another cultural event as part of the Boeing Native American Culture Series. This event will be the Native American women a cappella group “Ulali.”
Ulali has appeared on National Public Radio several times and made their national television debut when they performed with Robertson as featured guests on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. After performing at the Todos un Cantos del Mundo in May 2000, Ulali was featured on the “Jo Soares Show”, a nationally televised talk show in Brazil.
The group has been on several compilations that have been nominated for Juno Awards. Ulali participated in the Aboriginal Women’s Voices Project and helped to develop songs for the Project recording “Hearts of the Nations”. They were also featured on the Smithsonian Folkways compilation recording “Heartbeat,” and can be heard on dozens of albums, documentaries and movies. In addition, Ulali contributed the music for a recording with Lakota/Kiowa Apache Story Teller Dovie Thomason’s “Lessons from the Animal People,” which won the American Library Association’s 1997 “Editor’s Choice Award” and “Notable Recording Award”. During Spring 2002, they were featured on the “1 Giant Leap” recording and MTV video.
Ulali’s sound encompasses an array of indigenous music including Southeast United States choral singing (pre-blues and gospel) and pre-Columbian music. Ulali’s live performances address Native struggles and accomplishments.
This event will take place March 24, 2018 at the Collinsville High School auditorium. Tickets are $20 or $17 for Society members and will be available for sale this winter.
On Sunday, October 8, at 3PM Doug George (Mohawk Iroquois) and Grammy award-winning singer Joanne Shenandoah (Oneida Iroquois) will give the presentation titled, “Honoring the First People of this Land.” This will be a spoken presentation, with song, taking place in the lobby of the Interpretive Center. After the address, those in attendance will be invited to reconvene on Monks Mound for closing statements. This is part of the SIUE Native Studies Cultural Series, October 7-9, 2017. For more information, contact Lori at 618-344-7316 or Greg Fields at 618-650-2461.
Cahokia Mounds is proud to partner with BWorks for a Bicycle Drive October 7. Bicycle Works is one of the great programs offered by BWorks, St. Louis, a non-profit whose focus it is to empower St. Louis kids. The Earn-A-Bike Program is a great resource where children are taught the basics about bicycle safety and maintenance as a means to build community awareness and personal responsibility. This is a free program where kids attend a series of hands-on courses held at various locations. Graduating youths earn their own bike, helmet, light, and lock. Bicycle Works is always in need of new or used bikes and bike-related accessories. Bikes and accessories can be in any condition, as many times non-working bikes are used for parts and demonstrations. A donor has come forward to facilitate the success of this Bike Drive. If 100 bikes are donated to BWorks during the Bike Drive, a donation will be made to further the work of the Cahokia Mounds Museum Society and their efforts at the site. You can drop your bike or accessories off at Cahokia Mounds on October 7, from 9 am through noon in the parking lot. This is a great way to help kids in our community, recycle unwanted bikes and accessories, and support the efforts of Cahokia Mounds! For any questions, call Lori at 618-344-7316 or contact BWorks at info@Bworks.org.
This Sunday, August 13, at 2 pm, we will have Russell Weisman giving a lecture on solar/lunar events that have occurred in the ancient skies above Cahokia Mounds and will consider prehistoric beliefs about solar eclipses and celestial shadows. Seating is limited and will be on a first come first served basis.
Cahokia Mounds will host its annual Archaeology Day on Saturday, August 5 from 10 – 4. The event features ancient craft demonstrations such as; bow and arrow making, flintknapping and tool use, pottery making, stone carving, fingerweaving and fiber spinning, and more. Visitors can throw spears with an atlatl, tour the excavations, watch archaeologists at work, and help screen dirt or process artifacts from the excavations. Food and drinks will be available for purchase and the St. Louis Food Truck “STL BLT” will be on site from 11-2. This is a free event, however a suggested donation box is located in the lobby. For more information call 618-346-5160.
We are very fortunate to have one of the original wax models of the interior bronze door from the entrance of the Cahokia Mounds building. This was donated by the bronze sculptor, painter, musician Preston Jackson. Preston Jackson is professor emeritus of sculpture at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago and owner of The Side View Gallery, home of the Contemporary Art Center in Peoria, Illinois. He creates bronze figurative work and monumental steel and cast bronze sculptures as well as two-dimensional pieces. Preston donated the wax sculpt to Cahokia Mounds to keep on display in the museum and felt that it should be here where our visitors can enjoy it.
March 19 will be the final installment of the 2017 Winter Lecture Series. This presentation will discuss the changes occurring at Angel Mounds, Indiana. William Monaghan, PhD Indiana Geological Survey, Indiana University-Bloomington and Jeremy J. Wilson, PhD, Department of Anthropology, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) will be presenting “Anthropogenic Transformation and Population Processes at Angel Mounds: The Founding, Flourishment and Final Days of a Mississippian Village”.
Abstract: Since 2005, archaeological investigations at Angel Mounds, a Mississippian village along the Ohio River in southwest Indiana, have tackled a series of questions related to anthropogenic transformation, the timing of fortification construction, and the use-life for various habitation components of the site. Collectively this research aims to understand the intensity and trajectory of population-level processes at the site from its founding in the 11th century through abandonment in the early 15th century. The well-controlled chronology and developmental history for Angel Mounds derived from a decade of excavations and re-analysis of collections shows that the site underwent different developmental phases. The first occurred AD 1070-1250 with the site serving as an unfortified, ceremonial center with intensive earthwork construction, but few permanent residents. The second phase included the development a fortified village and increased residential population after AD 1300. Meanwhile, the abandonment of Angel Mounds in the early 15th century is attributed to increasing socio-political instability triggered by escalating levels of regional warfare and climatic unpredictability associated with the onset of the Little Ice Age.
For more information regarding this event, contact the Information Desk at 618-346-5160.
Cahokia Mounds is listed as one of the 1000 Places to See in the United States and Canada by Patricia Schultz. This is book is available at retailers everywhere and is a #1 New York Times Bestseller!
Join us for a fun new way to support Cahokia Mounds! The Museum Society is hosting a fundraiser at Painting with a Twist, 3760 Green Mt. Crossing Dr., Shiloh, IL on January 14, from 1-4 pm. The fee is $35. All supplies are provided and their artist will guide the instruction step-by-step so there is no need for experience! Children 7 and up are welcome to register. Painting with a Twist will donate HALF of all registrations to Cahokia Mounds! You will be painting your very own winter scene and supporting cultural preservation and interpretation. There are only 45 available spots in the studio so join us on January 14 and paint with a PURPOSE! Register by going to www.paintingwithatwist.com/shiloh/.
Linda T. from Shannon, IL won the raffle for the Cahokia Mounds T-Shirt Quilt. Congratulations to Linda who traveled from the northern edge of Illinois to Cahokia Mounds to visit the site! We appreciate your support!
We offer a great Groupon offer to visit Cahokia Mounds! There are two offers; one is for 2 iPod tours plus a souvenir guide book and tote for $10, and the other is for 4 iPod tours plus souvenir guide book and tote for $13. These offers are transferable, and we will honor them after the expiration date. We have sold over 1300 of these offers and have a 94% positive feedback rating on the offer. Simply go to Groupon.com and search for ‘Cahokia Mounds’ to get yours! It’s a great way to experience the site and includes outdoor audio tours to augment the Interpretive Center Gallery.
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site receives “Get to know m.e.” bench.
Created by the 2015 “Get to know m.e.” campaign, the regional image campaign that celebrates why people love living and working in the Metro-East. Thirty-nine blue steel benches were donated to area public places complimentary of the campaign. Parks, town squares, historical sites, bike trails, and scenic views are now locations of the Metro-East celebratory benches.
Cahokia Mounds Museum Society and Unity Yoga & Wellness are partnering to offer a group yoga event at sunset on May 29, 2018. This will begin at 7 pm and end at 8:30. Park in the main lot and walk behind the Interpretive Center. Bring your mat, water, and a lantern or flashlight. There will be no services or facilities during this event as the Interpretive Center will be closed at this time. This will be for donation only and the funds raised will benefit Cahokia Mounds. We will have 60 souvenir beaded bracelets available for any donations of $10 or over. Celebrate the Flower Moon and enjoy some outdoor movement while benefitting Cahokia Mounds. The activity will be for all fitness levels. For more information, call Lori at 618-344-7316 or Timi at 618-624.1900.
Over 30 Native American artists and vendors display Native American arts and crafts for sale. Many different tribal affiliations and media will be represented. Items include; jewelry, clothing items, paintings, sculptures and others. This is a free event to attend. Market begins at noon on Friday the 27th, Saturday and Sunday from 9-5.