with Tamara Wilder
fairs & demos
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It is often difficult for students to visualize and comprehend how our ancestors lived.

Hands-on participation in the creation items using ancient technologies
brings the whole topic to life and gives the participants
a base upon which to build an understanding of where we come from.

Watch YouTube video of
firemaking demonstration & more

Hands-On Experience Youth Programs are usually presented to 3rd to 8th grade ages, however the program can be adapted to younger ages if there is enough adult assistance.

  • 6th Grade Program supports "Ancient Civilizations" course of study in public schools.
  • 3rd & 4th Grade Programs support "process" and "handwork" studies in Waldorf & Montessori Schools.
  • Home School Group Programs work well with a large variety of ages and include lots of parent participation.
  • Birthday parties give a great opportunity for memorable, creative and fun activity.

Young Adult programs are most commonly presented to 9th to 12th grade ages.

All Ancient Living Skills Programs generally give an overview introduction to the basic technologies listed below. Participants take home a necklace or bracelet which they have made themselves by hand using sticks, stones and seeds.

Click here for Details & Pricing

Stringmaking Activities for youth begin with prepared fiber of Hemp. The process of extracting the native fiber Dogbane and/or other materials is demonstrated and can be explored further with individuals if there is adequate time & interest.

We twist these fibers into string using a group triangle twisting method which utilizes concepts of physics & geometry and which also requires cooperation.

Young adult programs are slightly longer and give opportunity to explore more advanced techniques of creating the "reverse wrap twist".

Firemaking Practice
begins with a demonstration of either hand drill firemaking or flint & steel firemaking.

Prepared hand and/or bowdrill kits are then supplied so participants can partner or group up and give it a try.

Friction fire is a difficult skill to learn, so youth programs concentrate on the process, the need to cooperate, get into a rhythm and focus each individuals energy.

Focused groups of younger kids
do sometimes succeed at making a hand drill fire,
which is both empowering and exciting.

Young adult programs are slightly longer
and more focus is given to actually making fire.

Young adults often succeed at friction firemaking through cooperation and working together
in pairs or groups.

Watch YouTube video of
firemaking demonstration & more

Beadmaking is a fun coordination developing activity which introduces many of the age old stone and wood shaping techniques used in many other technologies: drilling, grinding, polishing & oiling.

Using soapstone (a soft but durable stone) and ghost pine nuts (Pinus sabiniana), we make beads to hang on the string made of native plant fibers.

Participants drill holes in soapstone using a drill made of willow & bamboo, shape that stone in to a bead using abrasive stones, polish the bead with "horsetail" sticks, and oil the finished bead with fat.

Everyone takes home either a bracelet or necklace which they are very proud to have made "from scratch".

Hunting Tools Target Practice is extremely popular with kids and is a safe activity as long as there is enough space and adult supervision.

A large grass field is the best venue.

The tools which are available for this activity are:

  • rabbitsticks
    The oldest & most pandemic of hunting tools.
    • In Australia, the rabbitsticks evolved into the boomerang for hunting birds, but most rabbitsticks are non returning.
  • handspears
    One of the oldest most fundamental of hunting tools.
    • hoop & pole game is a very fun and instructional spearthrowing game.
  • bow & arrows
    Probably the most familiar hunting tool.
    • The bow & arrow was an extremely successful development which is still used in many different forms today.
  • spearthrowers
    Spearthrowers enjoy a long & diverse history as the tool used worldwide to hunt mammoths, mastodons & other megafauna.
    • In the Old World, spearthrowers were replaced by the bow & arrow long ago.
    • In the New World, the bow & arrow only made its appearance possibly as recently as 500-1000 years before contact; therefore, North American spear throwers reached a much higher level of design than those of the Old World.
    • Atlatl is the Aztec word for their spearthrowers, which were a war weapon used by elite warriors.
    • Woomera is the Australian Aboriginal name for their spearthrowers. Australian Aborigines never adopted the bow & arrow (precontact) and even today sometimes still depend on the woomera for hunting.

Watch YouTube video of
hunting tools demonstration & more


  • STANDARD PROGRAM (3 Stations & 5 topics)
    (3-4 hours) - usually 8:30am-lunch
    • Covers hunting tools, pine nut beads, soapstone beads, stringmaking & firemaking.
    • Includes all materials.
      • $525 for around 10-15 students, $10/student thereafter.
        • Smaller groups require 1-2 other adults to be present.
      • $650 20 - 30 students, $10/student thereafter.
        • Larger groups require 4-6 other adults to be present.
        • Following an initial introduction and demonstration, larger groups are divided to rotate through 3 different hands-on stations.

  • EXTENDED PROGRAM (4 Stations & 7 topics)
    (4-6 hours) - usually 8:30am-lunch & 1-1.5 hours after lunch
    • Covers hunting tools, pine nut beads, soapstone beads, stringmaking & firemaking. ropemaking & games.
    • Includes all materials.
    • Following an initial introduction and demonstration, groups are divided to rotate through 4 different hands-on stations.
      • $750 for around 20-30 students, $10/student thereafter.
        • Requires 5-7 other adults to be present.
      • $850 40 students, $10/student thereafter.
        • Requires 6-7 other adults to be present.
      • $925 50 students (50 max)
  • Requires 6-7 other adults to be present.

  • A Travel Fee may also be added if more than 80 miles from Ukiah, CA.
  • click here for school program brochure (352k pdf download)

    Visit Our Facebook Events for lists of current available dates:

    Email Tamara with questions or for more specific information concerning a custom program that would better fit your needs.

    The programs listed here are specific for school situations.
    Look at the program information page for a complete description
    of all the topics available to a variety of age groups and situations.

    Don't have a large enough group to sponsor a program?
    Check the schedule for upcoming kids & family day programs open to the public.


    Wild Food Programs involve an exploration of the technologies which have developed to process food into an edible/palatable meal.

    For example, processing acorn involves cracking, pounding, sifting, leaching & cooking, while manzanita berries only require a light pounding.

    Other foods vary from being ready to eat to needing extensive leaching or cooking.

    Demonstrations on a variety of topics are also available, usually presented as a display of samples which the students can touch, handle & ask questions about, combined with a live demonstration of the process.

    Common topics for demonstrations are:

    • Netmaking
    • Ropemaking
    • Basketry
    • Braintanning deer skins (Leathermaking)
    • Flintknapping (Stoneworking)


    • Wild foods program (3 hours)
      • Covers acorn & manzanita berry processing technologies, plus other foods in season at the time.
      • $500-$600 depending on foods supplied.
        • Limited by seasonality and availability of resources.

    • Demonstrations
    • Base rate of $200/hr (2 hr minimum).
    • Materials fees vary by topic.
    • More Focused Programs
      • Any program can be extended at additional cost to a whole day or several days with more time and detail given to each topic.
    • A Travel Fee may be added if more than 80 miles from Ukiah, CA.

    Email Tamara with questions or for more specific information concerning a custom program that would better fit your needs.

    click here for school program brochure (352k pdf download)

    PO Box 876 Boonville, CA 95415

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