Native Cordage

The 2012 elementary summer institute focused on teaching history through objects. In these photos, 4th grade teachers used raffia grass soaked in water to make Native Marylander-style cordage. They hooked the knotted loop end of a piece of raffia to a stationary object (chair/desk leg) and twisted and wrapped a few inches at a times until they had a completed length of cordage. After making a length of cordage, they used Sculpy clay in colors similar to that of clay available in Maryland to make beads. Several teachers made impressions in the clay with their pieces of cordage. This looks remarkably similar to the cordage impressions on pot sherds found in excavated sites around the state.

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