The First Kansans

Donald BlakesleeEach day, KHC  features the hot topics and great speakers in the Speakers Bureau catalog. Today’s featured presentation is “Products of the First Kansans” by Donald J. Blakeslee.

Who were the earliest inhabitants of this place we now call Kansas? How did they survive? What did they produce? Although early Native Americans did not leave written records, we can gain some understanding of how they worked by examining the products of their labor and the artifacts they left behind.

“Viewing the past from our large and complex society, we have a hard time imagining how people lived their lives,” observed Donald Blakeslee, a professor of anthropology at Wichita State University. “In small societies without many specialists, everyone needed huge amounts of ‘how to’ knowledge: how to build a house, how to make a fire, how to create and maintain all the tools they needed. What is more, they had to communicate all that knowledge to their children and grandchildren.”

Through an exploration of prehistory, Blakeslee shows how the nature and definition of work has changed over time and across cultures.

Bring Donald Blakeslee’s “Products of the First Kansans” or one of the other presentations in the Speakers Bureau catalog to your community for FREE with a Resource Center Support Grant. It’s quick and easy! Visit the Speakers Bureau page to get started or contact Leslie Von Holten, KHC program officer, for more information.