Pioneer Life-Skills and Craft Demonstrations

The Texana volunteers have researched and learned numerous pioneer life-skills and crafts. Many of these are becoming lost arts today. When possible we try to use period correct techniques, equipment, and supplies. The demonstrators may portray a particular character from Texas history or may take on the persona of a Composite Character of the day. The demonstrations work best in an intimate setting the maximum number of attendees will vary with each demonstration and range from 25-50 attendees. It usually take about an hour for the full demonstration, however, we can tailor the demonstration to best suit your needs.

We offer a wide variety to choose from, too many to try to list them all. So, if you have something in mind, just ask. Here are a few of the most requested: spinning, weaving, quilting, butter making, games/toys, natural dyes, textiles and fibers, candle-dipping, lye soap making, laundry, quill pen making, and Christmas celebrations from the past.

To explain how the demonstrations work, let me offer an example of one of the favorites, spinning. We have more than one spinner in the group; one of them portrays a German immigrant and tells about her experiences. She usually opens her tale with a few words in German and tells about coming to Texas as a child with her father and the rest of her family. She explains the different types of fibers available at the time and how precious fabric was to the families. She lets her visitors feel several of the fibers and maybe try pulling cottonseeds from a cotton ball. She usually invites a pair from the audience to hand spin a small piece of cotton and then another “helper” may get to “card” wool for her to spin. Then she demonstrates the use of a drop spindle and a few of the audience members may be invited to try one for themselves. Finally she will demonstrate the use of the spinning wheel. All the while she is weaving her story around historical facts from the time.

The Pioneer Life-Skills Demonstrations are wonderful compliments to the Event Campsites and the School Campsites. They can be tailored to fit many different occasions for children and adults. For a more focused and “hands-on” experience, be sure to find out about our Pioneer Life-Skills and Craft Workshops.

Please contact our office at 214-906-5792 or email for more detailed information.