November 19, 2010
Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville will conclude its 2010 lecture series on Thursday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m., in the activity room of the Delf Norona Museum. The series is being held in conjunction with the Upper Ohio Valley Chapter of the West Virginia Archeological Society. The lectures are free and open to the public.
The November program is entitled The Resurgence of Anikituhwa: Language and Cultural Revitalization among the Eastern Band Cherokee. The talk will be presented by Travis L. Henline, site manager at West Virginia Independence Hall in Wheeling.
In commemoration of Native American Month, Henline will base his presentation on experiences working with the Eastern Band of the Cherokee. The majority of his presentation will involve teaching an introduction to the Cherokee language, Kituhwa dialect. He will utilize the Total Physical Response method developed at Dartmouth University, which utilizes non-verbal cues and student participation.
Like many Native American tribal nations, the Eastern Band of the Cherokee of North Carolina is experiencing a revitalization of its culture, including its language, dances and other traditional practices. Henline says, “In recent years, the Eastern Band of the Cherokee in North Carolina have undertaken efforts to revitalize and preserve their language, and to teach it in their schools, homes and to interested people outside their tribe. This effort stands as a success story for how indigenous languages can be revitalized, preserved and maintain relevance in the 21st century.”
Henline previously served as an interpretive park ranger for the National Park Service at Fort Necessity National Battlefield in Farmington, Pa., site of the opening action of the French and Indian War in 1754. He also has worked as an interpretive historian at Pricketts Fort, the day-use historical and recreational park located just north of Fairmont in Marion County.
More recently, Henline was the manager of public history development for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Virginia. Colonial Williamsburg is a town-sized reproduction of Virginia’s colonial capital, with a mission to preserve and interpret Virginia’s 18th-century past. While there, he managed programs for the Capitol Building, Public Gaol [sic], Courthouse and the Payton Randolph House. He also coordinated the American Indian Initiative, a programmatic endeavor which takes a broad-base approach to include the histories of American Indians in 18th-century Williamsburg.
Henline has a bachelor’s degree in English and anthropology from West Virginia University (WVU), and is currently completing his master’s degree in history from WVU.
“Instead of the typical lecture being held in the auditorium, the program this month will be in the activity room where participants will be sitting in chairs formed in a big circle. It will be interactive and engaging and a fitting celebration of Native American month,” said David Rotenizer, site manager at Grave Creek Mound.
For more information about the lecture series, contact Andrea Keller, cultural program coordinator at Grave Creek Mound, at (304) 843-4128 or e-mail her at Andrea.K.Keller@wv.gov. Indicate in the message if you are interested in receiving notification of other upcoming programs at the mound.
Next year’s lecture series will begin on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011.
Operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex features the largest conical burial mound in the New World which ranks as one of the largest earthen mortuary mounds anywhere in the world. A massive undertaking, construction of the mound by the Adena people took place in successive stages from 250-150 B.C. and required the movement of 57,000 tons of earth, approximately three million individual basket loads.
Exhibits and displays in the Delf Norona Museum interpret what is known about the lives of these prehistoric people and the construction of the mound. The complex also has a new wing which houses the West Virginia Archaeological Research and Curation Facility, as well as a study room for researchers and a library. Contact the complex for information regarding group registration and detailed driving directions. The museum is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. It is closed on Mondays. Access to the mound and gift shop closes 30 minutes before the museum.
Visitors also can see four traveling exhibits on display, Women of Design: Embassies, Mansions, and Stately Homes–Pat Bibbee and Vivien Woofter; Marble King: the World’s Finest Marbles; Homer Laughlin China Company; and Ladies Fashion Dolls of the Nineteenth Century by Pete Ballard.
With the leadership of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, Kay Goodwin, cabinet secretary, the West Virginia Division of Culture and History brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Its administrative offices, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, are located at the Culture Center in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Culture Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. The agency also operates a network of museums and historic sites across the state. For more information about the Division’s programs, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.