Waccamaw PauWau – Lindsay Weirich

On November 6th, a few friends and I headed out toward Aynor, South Carolina, to attend a Waccamaw PowWow with our Anth102 Understanding Other Cultures class. It was a bit chilly that day, but it did not deter people from coming. A breeze floated by, carrying the smell of sweetgrass incense and homemade vegetable soup. There were people there in all sorts of native outfits, feather bustles on their backs and crowns of feathers on their heads. Jingle, jingle went the bells on their feet as they danced to the sound of a beating drum and the voices of the people, singing songs of origin– songs with feeling.

Everyone stopped and stared at the men around the drum. Soon, a person came out into the sacred circle, and opened with a heartfelt thank you to our veterans. They danced around in a clockwise motion to deliver flags to their designated place inside the sacred circle. There were grass dancers and fancy dancers, jingle dresses, and shawl dancers everywhere.

We watched for a while, and then decided to check out the merchandise. Atlatls, necklaces, rabbit’s feet, medicine pouches of turtle shell, beadwork, furs, dream catchers, and shells filled the shelves and caught everyone’s eye as they passed. And everyone got a kick out of the dog lying in front of a shop, traditionally dressed in leather, complete with a fur mohawk and turtle shell medicine pouch. He just sat there staring back!

We moseyed back to our sitting area in time to catch the blanket dance, a dance to raise money for the people who sang and beat on the drum. They had to come from a long way. The women moved clockwise in the circle dancing as they carried the blanket. After that, a man played the flute and interpreted the music and origin for us. One was about a man hunting a deer, and he prayed to the Creator that he would use it to feed his family. On his forth arrow he struck the deer, and he buried its heart to return its spirit to the Creator. The songs were all very beautiful, and the man was extremely talented. After listening to some songs, we decided to leave and get some much needed coffee. I am so glad we got to experience this, and we hope to come back next year for more fun!

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On the ESAF Conference: Jess Hendrix

During this year’s annual Eastern States Archaeological Federation (ESAF) conference, five members of the field school team from this past summer gave presentations. Shortly after this fall semester began we students from the field school learned that our beloved professor Dr. Dillian was a board member of ESAF. Not only did we learn that she was a board member on ESAF, but, much to our surprise, Dr. Dillian wanted some of the members from the field school to prepare and present presentations for the conference. So, five of us students agreed to this and we began to plan and prepare for the conference.

We left school on Thursday October 28th, at 6 o’clock in the morning!!! The five of us students and Dr. Dillian piled into the rented minivan and began our six-hour drive to Williamsburg Virginia, where the conference was being held this year. It was a fun drive, except for Meghan who is prone to getting sick on long car rides, poor Meghan. But, for the rest of us the drive was enjoyable and filled with good conversation from Dr. Dillian telling us of her many experiences in the field.

Once we arrived in Williamsburg we checked into our hotel where the conference was being held. That afternoon our group and other members of ESAF went to the historic site of Jamestown Virginia. We got a personal tour of the active excavations currently going on and we spoke with several of the head archaeologists working on the site, including Bill Kelso, who is the lead archeologist at the Jamestown site.

On Friday, we listened to many presentations on various topics revolving around archaeology that has been taking place in the eastern United States. That evening we practiced our presentations with Dr. Dillian and we attended the annual American Canadian Friendship Party. We were introduces to many working and retired archeologists, anthropologists, museum coordinators, professors, and many other people at this social event. We had a great time and it was the perfect opportunity for us, as students, to begin to network with important people in our various fields of interest.

Saturday morning we attended more presentations. Around noon, we began to set up for our presentations. I think most of us were nervous, but we were also excited at the same time, for this was the first time any us students had presented any kind of presentation at an academic level. Finally, it was time for us to present our presentations. First, Julia and Lindsey gave their presentation on the work our field school did at The Oaks in Brookgreen Gardens. Next was Meghan’s and Chris’ turn. Their presentation was on the old shipyard site that our field school worked at during the beginning of our field school. I was the last student to present. My presentation was on the work our team did at Yauhannah Bluff. Dr. Dillian ended our session with her presentation on the overall field school. Our presentations went great. I think everyone did an amazing job and I am very proud of our group. We attended the formal dinner that night for all of the ESAF members, which was delicious.

On Sunday morning we packed our things and listened to a few more presentations. Around 10:00 A.M. we piled back into the minivan for the journey home. Meghan had no problems on the way home because she slept for most of the trip. In fact, most of us slept on the way back, we were all extremely tired. The trip was a great opportunity. We students learned a lot and gained a lot of experience from this trip. We met new people and hopefully formed some lasting relationships. I would like to thank Dr. Dillian for all that she did including pushing us to go on this trip and present, getting us funding, and driving us “safely” there and back.

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2010 Waccamaw Pow Wow

Dr. Sharon Moses and her “Understanding Other Cultures” class took a field trip to the 18th annual Waccamaw Pow Wow in Aynor, SC, on Saturday, Nov 6, 2010. Students watched Native dancing, flute playing, and storytelling, and browsed for Native-made mementos for sale.  The field trip supplemented classroom discussions and lectures about ethnicity and identity and provided a wonderful experience among the local Native community.

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A conference diary: Meghan Mumford

I was given the opportunity to attend the Eastern States Archaeological Federation conference with other students from the Coastal Carolina Field School over Halloween weekend. We began our journey with an interesting ride to Williamsburg Virginia that was full of both serious and lighthearted conversation. Arriving around noon, we checked into our rooms and then jumped back into the mini-van to go on a tour of the ongoing excavations in Jamestown. The tour was a perfect way to start our archaeologically filled weekend. We then went to dinner near the hotel and proceeded to have a wonderful time!
Friday we began to enjoy the various papers being presented at the meeting. There were a variety of papers, some more enjoyable than others. At the lunch break, the other students and I ventured into Colonial Williamsburg for an authentic experience of the past. We enjoyed our lunch at the King’s Tavern where a performer became very fond of the two male students with us. Lunch was delicious and the entertainment was great for us girls. We returned to the conference to enjoy more presentations until the evening. That night we ordered pizza and practiced our presentations, adding final touches until the party that the conference hosted later. The party provided an intimate setting that allowed us to meet some of the individuals within the field of archaeology. It was a great night!
The next day came early and we went to some papers before it was our turn to present. We nervously prepared for our presentations with some singing on the “mic,” before the room was filled with viewers of course. Our presentations went extremely well, and I am very proud of my fellow students and myself. After a celebratory beverage, we returned to the presentations. The evening ended with a banquet hosted by the Federation that included great food and a great guest speaker from the Smithsonian. It was another great night.
We woke up early Sunday morning and listen to a few presentations before returning to the road. The drive back was a little less energized than our drive to Virginia, but was still filled with good conversation. The overall experience was wonderful! The presentations were full of information and the opportunity to present was good experience for those of us who hope to continue on in archaeology. We owe a big thanks to Dr. Dillian for bring us to the conference with the financial support of Coastal Carolina University and for providing us with a wealth of knowledge and great company as well!

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Taking the long view at the ESAF Conference: Lindsay Weirich

The ESAF Conference in Williamsburg, VA, was amazing! Although the team was apprehensive about our upcoming presentation, and a little intimidated by all the scholars accumulated in one place, we trudged upstairs in the hotel to place our bags in the rooms. We all woke up super early to make it in time for the Jamestown tour on Friday. It was a magnificent site, over 400 years worth of history and culture. The triangular fort was home to English colonists and had an intense starving time when little supplies and incoming people made life horrible; some even resorted to cannibalism. But that’s not what interested me most. Being on the river and seeing what Pocahontas, Powhatan, and John Smith saw was the greatest experience.
I remember practicing a lot. We had almost perfect timing and we worked really hard to deliver the best we could. This was the first time any of us had been exposed to a conference. We spent our days in others’ presentations, and learned a lot about new methods and sites. It put the career in perspective for us; we upcoming archaeologists realized then that we would be doing these things many more times in our lives.
We scoped out the presentation room early, and Meghan joined us all in for a selection of songs to boost our confidence. Jess’s family came up to see us present and after talking with them a short while we had to start. Everyone took a deep breath and gave it their all. It could not have gone better! People came up and started talking to us about our site! You should have seen us! We were stars – -bouncing all over the place. . .I want to thank everybody, and we could not have done this without all the support we had.

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ESAF Conference: by Dr. Carolyn Dillian

CCU's field school team at Williamsburg with Dr. Dillian (Left, front)

I’m thrilled to announce that our CCU field school students did an OUTSTANDING job presenting their papers this afternoon at the Eastern States Archaeological Federation meetings. We spent Friday evening practicing the presentations, and they were polished and ready to go for saturday afternoon. I received quite a bit of very positive feedback about the students, their presentations, and the anthropology program (my presentation highlighted both the summer field school and the current program, and our goals for the future of the program at CCU). Students also have been enjoying talking with scholars in the field (and have been buying lots of books in the book room).

We appreciate the chance to participate fully in a professional conference like this, and it was all made possible by funding through the Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts at Coastal Carolina University.

Included here is a picture of us at Williamsburg (we also took a behind-the-scenes tour of the Jamestown excavations with Dr. Bill Kelso, who directs the work there).

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Following Through: Field School Students in their own session at the Eastern States Archeological Federation Conference

CCU field school students at the ESAF banquet enjoyed the fruits of their labor with Dr. Carolyn Dillian after a successful session devoted to presentation of preliminary field school results.

The last few weeks have been pretty stressful getting ready for our first professional conference.  We’ve all been busy doing artifact analysis, preparing powerpoints, and rehearsing our presentations.  Before the sun came up on Thursday morning, we left for Williamsburg, VA to attend the Eastern States Archaeological Federation Conference.  I was feeling pretty nervous until I saw the room we would be presenting in.  I had been torturing myself with visions of a huge banquet hall, an audience of hundreds, and even (shudder) a stage.  But the room we were scheduled to use was an informal conference room that held, maybe, 60 people.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief.  Thursday afternoon was spent touring the nearby site of Jamestown.  It was incredible to be taken around th site by the head archaeologist, Dr. William Kelso, who has been excavating there for the last 16 years.  We spent Friday attending presentations by archaeologists from all over the eastern states and networking with future colleagues (fingers crossed!).  When it came time on Saturday to give our presentations, everyone did a great job and it wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it was going to be.  Dr. Dillian kept telling us that the more times we gave presentations the easier it would get, and I guess she was right after all.  It was a great experience and I would like to do it again…but maybe not until next year!

by Julia Louise Mills

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