Crafts Expert To Show Leni Lenape Ways In Croton

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Native American craft expert Barry Keegan will demonstrate fire making and other Leni Lenape skills Saturday at the Croton Arboretum. Photo Credit: Jessica Glenza

CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – The Croton Arboretum will host a Native American craft expert Saturday afternoon who will recreate a scene from the daily life of the Leni Lenape people, who lived in Croton at the time of Hendrick Hudson's voyage.

Barry Keegan will be at the 20-acre wood and wetlands sanctuary demonstrating fire making, flint knapping and the creation of stone tools from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Children from Carrie E. Tompkins Elementary School will visit Keegan on Thursday and Friday for a history lesson and to see his collection of Colonial artifacts and replicas of bows, arrows, axes, buckskin, fire-making tools and pottery. The visit is part of a collaboration between the Tompkins PTA and the Croton Arboretum.

"We're always trying to find ways of getting other people involved in using the arboretum, and we realize one of the problems is a lot of the teachers at the schools don't live in Croton, so they don’t necessarily know all the stuff that's going on in Croton," said Marc Cheshire, vice president of the Croton Arboretum board. "There are all kinds of different possibilities we're trying to exploit."

A film of Keegan's 2011 visit is available at the Croton Arboretum website.

Keegan is a museum consultant and gives classes and demonstrations of historic and prehistoric crafts. He created numerous replica Lenape artifacts for an exhibit at Ellis Island and was filmed by the History Channel for “Mystery Quest: the Stonehenge Archer,” making a bow and arrows which he shot at bones to compare impact marks to those on archaeological remains.

He is also a contributor to "Wilderness Way" and the "Bulletin of Primitive Technology" magazines.

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