I grew up in the 70s reading boy-oriented books that my grandfather supplied me with. There were various books about topics like Electrical Engineering for kids. There were various other science books and encyclopedias. I also had hand-me down construction toys like real, metal erector sets with little wrenches. Those types of things left me cold. However, I LOVED this book called Indian Crafts and Lore. This was an educational book that introduced Native American culture to boy scout types using various craft and construction projects. I was recently reminded of this book and tracked it down at the local library. I then endeavored to build a tipi in the back yard to enforce certain lessons that we had discussed regarding the role Native Americans played during the first Thanksgiving.


Finally, I should point out where aesthetics lack, the life lesson was significant. My aim here was to teach my son that the comforts of modern life were not available to Native Americans and colonial settlers. My son had seen images of native and settler homes before and was bothered by the lack of bathrooms and other amenities. The life lesson is that people used to have to expend significant amounts of time and effort to achieve the most minimal of living standards. Watching me search around for, cut, drag and maneuvre wood into place was enough for him to get the hardships of olden times.

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