The Anthropology of the Winter Solstice
The Anthropology of the Winter Solstice
Since humankind’s earliest beginnings, great attention was paid to the heavens. Across the planet hunter-gathering societies built large solar observatories to observe the seasonal cycles. Here in Florida, the most famous is the observatory at the Crystal River archaeological site. Perhaps the most dramatic cosmic event that imprinted on the minds and spirits of earth’s earliest people was the Winter Solstice, the darkest day of the year. Great preparations were made for rituals and celebrations to mark the Winter Solstice. The dispersed people came together to their collective ritual complexes. Priest, shamans and holy men performed the important rites created for the event.
With the birth of civilizations came the first religions. The “pagan” Solstice celebrations were integrated into the new religions. As a result all religions celebrate the darkest day of each year with rituals centered around light. Beginning with the very first world religion, Zoriastrian, solstice rites celebrated the defeat of darkness and light triumphing over doom and sorrow, as well as Hanukkah and Christmas. Ehmann will share the rich anthropology of Winter Solstice from prehistoric times to the present. Participants will even perform a special rite that evening.
Thursday Evening, December 19, 6:30 PM, Wintergarden Presbyterian, 18305 Wintergarden Ave. P.C.
IN CELEBRATION OF CHARLOTTE COUNTY"S CENTENNIAL, A JOINT MEETING OF THE ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY AND THE CHARLOTTE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
When Florida became an American territory in 1821, only three kinds of people lived south of Gainesville: Indians, the military, and those who didn’t mind mosquitos, bears, rattlesnakes, panthers and alligators! Who were they - the pioneers who inhabited the uninhabitable? They were the Crackers. Where did they come from? They were the poor whites of the Southern states. And who were these poor white Southerners? They were the Scots-Irish who came to the colonies in five waves from 1717 to 1775. They were called hillbillies, rednecks, and crackers. This is their story.
Mary Lou Williams, professional storyteller and writer, is a retired educator who has spent 35 years as a high school teacher of English and also of mathematics. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Queens College and a Master of Education degree from Columbia University. She has been a member of the Fort Myers Toastmasters since November of 2001 where she earned the Advanced Toastmasters Silver Award specializing in the Storytelling and Entertaining Speaker. YOU WILL BE ENTERTAINED.
Think you know about the Calusa? Think again. Now a book that is written for the general reader about an ancient civilization that lived around the Charlotte Harbor for 25 centuries.
Author and founder of the Charlotte Harbor Anthropological Society Ted Ehmann investigated the mound building societies in the Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys for twenty-five years before moving to Port Charlotte. Despite his extensive knowledge of these ancient people, he had heard never heard of mound builders far away in south Florida. Upon moving to Port Charlotte, he set out to find out what he could. What he discovered is the basis for his book. Written for the general reader, Ehmann tells the story of a highly evolved people who successfully adapted to southwestern Gulf coastal environment, Immigrants from Louisiana around 800 BC, the Calusa engaged with the people already settled here. The result was a highly expressive culture that built monumental shell mound complexes, canals and even entire islands. Ehmann also shares how the view of these people have been misunderstood by Florida researchers, and how their conclusions fail to capture what was really the most " important and significant hunter-gathering society in world history."
The People of the Great Circle, Prehistoric Mound Builders In South Florida, December, 2019, Pineapple Press, a division of Rowman & Littlefield Publishing ISBN 97816833405 22 Available through booksellers everywhere
Educate the public and officials about the significance of the Calusa Indians and the prehistoric cultural resources in the Charlotte Harbor Region, as well as to sponsor:field trips, speakers, events and symposiums.
Foster and encourage ongoing research and publications while promoting public accessibility to historical sites and the published archaeological research.
Be a clearing house for local knowledge of the Calusa and the prehistory and history of the Charlotte Harbor Region.
Develop and make available ongoing educational materials for local schools and community organizations, while encouraging careers in anthropology.
Charlotte County Anthropological Society, Inc. is a non-profit corporation dedicated to educating, the public and the officials about the significant role of the Calusa Indians and the Charlotte Harbor Region in the prehistory and archaeological history of Florida and North America. The region came into notoriety in 1895-1896 when American ethnographer Frank Hamilton Cushing unearthed the first Calusa sites and treasures. Since the mid-twentieth century, interest in this epoch has decreased, leaving a vast number of sites not researched and questions unanswered. Intensive development of the region since the 1980s has further threatened the integrity of the remaining prehistoric resources.
Our membership is composed of professionals and non-professionals who wish to preserve the numerous rich prehistoric cultural sites and resources of the harbor region from the ravishes of exploitation and inadequate public policy and time
We are dedicated to sharing the rich ancient history and history of the 14,000 years of human s living in the Charlotte Harbor area. our new HERITAGE TOURS OF OLD FLORIDA will help develop heritage tourism for our area, which in turn will help us to preserve the remaining archaeological and historic sites for future generations.
Ted Ehmann, President & Treasurer
Gene Dole, Vice President
Bill Straus, Secretary
Board of Directors