Stories n Stones - Details of programs


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Each program takes about 45 minutes. With a Question and Answer session it could take up to an hour. Programs can be altered to present to 7 year olds to adults. The program usually starts by Marilyn telling a story. In the story there is mention of many of ancient tools and crafts that were used by the native peoples. Larry demonstrates their uses and how they were made. Marilyn finishes with another story that complements the program. Hands-on crafts include cordage, pottery, and arrow-making. This takes more time and adds to the price of the program. Prices differ greatly due to many factors - please email: for more info.


                                                                Story and Stones - details


The Original     


Iroquois Stories: Heroes and Heroines, Monsters and Magic by Joe Bruchac




  "Skunny Wundy and the Stone Giant" - Trickster, Skunny Wundy, gets the best of a stone giant.

    Larry highlights parts of the story by demonstrating how the tool were made, their uses and their history - stone axes, arrows, flint points, atlatls, spears, flint hoe, and fire-making.


         "The Whistling Tsonaquas" Northwest Coast Indian adapted version on There are many versions of this story about a blood-sucking monster that terrorizes the people. Usually, the monster is tricked into falling into a burning pit where it turns into ashes that transform into mosquitoes to forever suck blood from the people.




Stories n Stones: Bringing the Light   



              Demonstrates eight ways of making fire including a hand-drill fire using two sticks



        "Grandmother Spider Brings the Light" a version by the Choctaw. Three animals try to bring fire, but it is Grandmother Spider who succeeds


Stories n Stones: Along the Expedition Trail

Contrasting the tools of the French, American, and various Native American tribes along the Missouri River in 1804



"THE PIASA" At the beginning of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, as they camped in nearby Woodriver, they may have traveled to see the picture of the Piasa along the bluff. In the late 1800s an author wrote a story about how it came to be. It is not an authentic Indian story, but it has become a legend unto itself.


"The Whistling Tsonaquas"   As Lewis and Clark reached the west coast, they may have heard this  story. Referenced above.



Stories n Stones: Ishi the Last the Yahi (Ishi Skills - flintknapping and demonstration using the Ishi stick with obsidian)




A brief bio/story on Ishi based on Ishi of Two Worlds by Theodora Kroeber. The true story of the last of the California Yahi Indians who taught modern flintknappers how he made fine flint and obsidian arrow points.

"Rabbit the Arrowmaker"   based on a Lakota legend about Rabbit who travels to the Bear Lodge to get precious flint for his points.  I added elements of Ishis story called Ishis Tale of Lizard that was made into a picture book collected by Susan L. Roth and Leanne Hinton.

"Coyote Brings Fire" - a California Indian story on the origins of fire making.



Stories n Stones: Survivor on Book Island  (techniques include a fire demo using two stick

       and each participant learn and make life-saving cordage to bring home)

Book talks on Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss and Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Coyote Brings the Light versions found by Karok and Shasta tribes of the Northwest. The three Fire Beings dont share the fire. Coyote, with the help of Mountain Lion, Buzzard and Old Man Turtle, steals the fire away and then he teaches the people where to find fire in rocks and sticks to make their own fire.


Stories n Stones: To Woodhenge and Beyond                                                                       Power-point and discussion on the reconstructed sun calendar Woodhenge at Cahokia Mound; includes fire demo.


 Legend of the Cedar Tree a Cherokee sacred story about the length of day and why the people created a sun calendar.

"Grandmother Spider Brings the Light" Choctaw version. In this story I also add that Grandmother Spider regulates both the sun and the moon that she placed in the sky with her long webs.


 Stories n Stones: From Little Egypt to Big Egypt


With power-point presentation on the petroglyphs of  Little Egypt (Southern Illinois) and the Hieroglyphs of Egypt.

       "The Piasa" referenced above is told to reference rock painting in Illinois




                               The Blue Faience Hippopotamus by Joan Marshall Grant.                     These Egyptian artifacts actually exist. There are many on-line sites them. In this story a hippopotamus falls in love with an Egyptian Princess and a magician turns him into a blue faience hippo. Hieroglyphs are etched onto them.


Stories 'n Stones: Our Odyssey to the Iliad



Hear the story of The Trojan War by storyteller, Marilyn Kinsella. Find out how the Greek gods' and goddesses' foolish behavior launched a war that lasted 10 years. Local field archaeologist, Larry Kinsella, will sift through the mysteries of Troy using Power Point to try to unravel its hidden history - why many thought Troy never existed, what happened to the treasures of Troy, and...did the Greeks really build a Trojan horse?


Stories 'n Stones: Show Me Mound City

In honor of the 250 year anniversary of the founding of St. Louis, Stories 'n Stones takes a look at the prehistory of St. Louis and why it was originally called "Mound City." Stories include the Osage legend "The Spider and the People" and "The Piasa." Program includes spider shell gorgets, ancient tools and weapons, and fire demo.


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