The Lawrence County Native American Student Club will host the 26th Annual Multicultural Indian Event at the Oakville Indian Mounds Education Center in Alabama May 16-18. Demonstrations at the event include flint-knapping, silversmithing, finger-weaving, stickball, drum-making, basket making and woodcarving.
There are three mounds of the original five left at Oakville. “Through farming practices, two of those mounds were destroyed,” Anne Mullican, cultural resource specialist at the Oakville Indian Mounds Education Center, told WAAY Channel 31.
“This was a seasonal site and Native Americans were constantly coming back to this it so it has a very long period of occupation going back at least 10,000 or more years,” she said.
Oakville Ceremonial Woodland Mound is the largest of the three mounds at Oakville covering some 1.5 acres and rising some 27 feet. It was built one basket full of dirt at a time during the Woodland Period.
The park and museum at the education center run on the premise of the Indian Education Program, which began in Lawrence County in 1986. The purpose of the program is to teach local Indian history and culture to students attending Lawrence County schools and to make Native students more aware of their tribal culture.
“We have about 1,719 students served here in Lawrence County alone,” Casey Reed, the federal program director for Lawrence County Schools, told WAAY. “We have one of the larger Indian Education Programs in the state.”
The property is operated by the school system so education and preservation are top priorities.
“In this area alone, there are over 100 recorded sites and we are here to help preserve these sites from destruction and to educate the public to try to get them interested in saving more sites,” Mullican told WAAY.
For more information about the multicultural event, visit the Oakville Indian Mounds Education Center website.