Kids & Karankawas: A day of learning about tribe most-identified with Matagorda County

Sentinel photo by Mike Reddell
Abby Herreth explained the Karankawa lifestyle to visitors who received a small bag of pecans, one of the foods gathered by the Karankawas.


   Matagorda County Historical Commission members provided several ways for children to connect with the Native American tribe most connected to Matagorda County - the Karankawas.
   The Saturday afternoon event was called Kids & Karankawas and members were at several stops within Matagorda County Museum to describe and to share souvenirs with youngers.
   The first stop for youngsters was the museum’s Karankawa exhibit with life-size models depicting a family surrounded by items used in daily life. 
   There was the father, with his bow and arrow, the mother and the child with a pot and a camp fire and the foods, such as fish, that were part of the Karankawas’ diet.
   There was face painting - an engaging experience for students and an educational one as well since the Karankawas - like most Native American tribes - painted their bodies, often with paint made from plants.
    The children also learned the different meanings of Karankawa words and the hand sign to convey numbers in daily life at one of the education stations.
   Commission members supplied so many different items for display and another one of those was the shell camp. 
   Since the Karankawas were a coastal tribe, it’s obvious that sea shells would be found in a camp - both as a food, like oysters, as a possible tool, like a scraper, or something to be shaped into a trade item to other Texas tribes.
   And there were many arrow points - many of which were found in Matagorda County, including Palacios and Collegeport - both of which were Karankawa camp sites.   

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