Pioneer Crafts and Skills

Pioneer Crafts and Skills are passed down in families and can be learned at Dade Battlefield Historic State Park in Bushnell, Florida. We have only been here for a few days and was asked to take part in their monthly “Be A Pioneer” demonstrations. Volunteers for the park, teen-age volunteers learning to be demonstrators and volunteers from the Dade Battlefield Historic Society brought their materials and their skills to show us how to make soap, candles, palmetto baskets, rope, wooden toys and brushes out of palmetto trunks. The fees for the visitors was only $5 per person with children under 18 FREE and for two hours last evening the park ranger, the volunteers and visitors participated in the old-time skills. One volunteer even showed how to make “Hoe Cakes” on the fire using a real hoe and a sweet corn bread recipe. We hand-dipped candles, wove palmetto baskets and learned how to make brushes out of the trunks of palmetto trees. Some of the volunteers even dressed for the part in old-time clothing. This event wasn’t well attended but it was fun and very informative. We missed the Pine Needle Basket Class at the beginning of September but they will have another one in November. Dade Battlefield is a small park with only 80 acres and is surrounded by the ever-expanding city of Bushnell, Florida.

Next weekend they will be hosting a three-day Native American Pow-Wow with native crafts, demonstrations, singing, dancing, story telling and native food vendors. This is a Inter-Tribal Native American Holiday event with representatives from a number of tribes. We look forward to participating and learning how a variety of Native American Crafts. This event is only $3 per person with children under 12 Free.