The week before Spring Break, there was a term-end Culminating Event at school, at which the Loowiters again impressed us with their breadth of deep knowledge on term thematic, which was the cultural study on the People of Cascadia (aka the coastal tribes).
Our new head-of-school Scott Kerman reminded us that a key element of Howard Gardner’s educational philosophy is The Presentation: when you have to stand up and talk about what you’ve learned you internalize that knowledge in a deeper way, plus you engage your community.
The Loowiters hosted a “potlatch” which is a Coastal-tribes gathering at which the hosts give gifts and entertain. The students acted out 2 native myths and showed us their handicrafts (we were presented with cordage, bracelets and other homemade crafts) and then we played a game, and sampled smoked salmon.
But by far the most impressive craft they shared was their Button Blankets, which each student designed with symbols representing their Spirit Animal, and wore during a ceremonial song. Dashiell chose the eagle as his spirit animal, which I think is a good fit for him. I think if he could have picked any land animal he would have chosen the cheetah, but I don’t think cheetahs figure into Coastal tribe mythology.
The eagle, like me, is fast, social, a hunter and determined.
Seeing all the kids in these special robes was very moving and quite impressive…see for yourself!
Something went wrong when I transferred my photos to the computer, so these look weird, but hopefully you get the idea:
I plan to hang D’s button blanket on the wall, like a weaving, to treasure for the fine art it is, as soon as we are not living in a construction zone anymore!