Rons Primitive Skills

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Primitive skills in a modern context

Do you practice any primitive skill like bow making, flint knapping, basketry? If you do you're not alone. It seems to be growing in popularity lately. Maybe a desire to reconnect to the old ways or simpler times? One of the premiere sites is Paleo Planet. They cover just about everything you could imagine as far as primitive go's. Its a great learning tool. Thanks Tom. I have been involved in the primitive arts for many years. There was a time when there was no computer and the only information you could find was from books and none that were dedicated to the subject. My first exposure to primitive arts was when my cousins and I made bows from wild cherry saplings and the arrows from cattail stems. This sparked an intense interest in me and I soon found the Boy Scouts Handbook,circa 1953 edition.It had all this wonderful information about field crafts. Later I was given a copy of "Outdoor Life Complete Book of Camping" by Miracle and Decker for my 10th birthday. What a book! (I still have it) It shows how to make traps, axmanship, all the essentials of living in the wilds. Mighty inspiration for a lad of 10 years! Later I picked up other books about the outdoors and camping and they all added fuel to the fire.
Some folks believe that the world will return to a state where primitive skills will once again be the norm for living, all technology and modern industry gone due to a disaster, natural or man made. I think this is wishful, romantic thinking.If it were to happen, life would suddenly be too hard for most folks to survive. Unless you have had some experience living this way, its going to be a very rude awakening. I'm not putting these skills down as useless. No way! Quite the opposite! The primitive skills I have learned can enhance my chance of survival in addition to my modern methods and gear. I would hate to have to survive day to day in a totally primitive society. Its the way life is. I have tasted the modern life and it is good. To loose the comforts and benefits of modern civilization would really suck!
I, like many others will continue to practice primitive skills. Its way too much fun! The thrill of making a useful object out of a piece of weed, bark, wood or stone is very fulfilling and gives one a sense of well being, almost "I'm invincible! I can handle any situation!". Once you have mastered fire from primitive techniques you really get the feeling of being completely in charge. To me its all a hobby/sport/recreation call it what you will. I enjoy it and I teach it. But, I for one don't relish having to live it.

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