Monday, August 26, 2013

Primitive Skills Gathering

I had the pleasure of being an instructor at the 10th annual Primitive Skills Gathering this past week which was held near Ashland, WI. There were over 200 individuals gathered to learn skills that ranged from basket making to knife making as well herbal medicine, wild edibles and flint knapping. I taught a class on how to make a healing salve using local plants such as plantain and yarrow which help heal cuts, scrapes and abrasions....there was plenty of potential for use considering all the sharp tools were being used!

We camped along the shores of Lake Superior and enjoyed hot, sunny weather throughout most of the week. There was one impressive storm which forced everyone to seek cover but it lasted only a couple hours and was followed by plenty of sunshine. During the evening hours, there were activities such as trade blankets, movies and a pot luck. The land that we used was generously offered by a local Ojibwa named Joe who shared stories of his early life learning how to live off the land.

While I was there I also took advantage of the skills of the other instructors and learned how to do flint knapping, make a knife and how to sharpen my tools with a wet stone. I had an incredible time meeting all of the other instructors and participants. It was truly a unique and wonderful experience. I can't wait for next year! To learn more about the Gathering, go to

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