“Kansas Forts and the Indian Wars”, a reading and discussion series led by Leo Oliva, PhD, will begin from 2 – 5 p.m. on Sunday, Jan.13 at the Kinsley Library. There is still time to sign up for this once-a-month series featuring visits to Fort Larned, Fort Dodge and Fort Hays in February, March, and April, respectively. Dr, Oliva will facilitate group discussions over readings. There will be guided tours of the forts, and interpretive presentations. Participants are asked to plan on attending the whole series if possible. At the first meeting a $10 registration fee which will be collected and car pools facilitated for the fort visits.
On Jan. 13, Dr. Oliva will present background material and guide group discussion on the book, Little Big Man by Thomas Berger. Dr. Oliva became interested in frontier military history and Plains Indians during the 1959 centennial celebration of the founding of Fort Larned and has been researching and writing about frontier military posts and the Indian wars ever since. He is the author of six of the eight volumes in the Kansas Forts Network series, Soldiers on the Santa Fe Trail, and numerous articles. He received his Ph.D. in American History at the University of Denver and taught history and literature at Fort Hays State University. He is a frequent lecturer on Kansas history, the frontier army, and the Indian wars and serves as a consultant to many historical organizations.
Ken Weidner will also be presenting “Cheyenne Warrior Culture”. Weidner is considered an expert on Cheyenne culture by Fort Larned NHS. He tans hides, makes beadwork, traditional dress, silverwork, paints rawhide par fleche and many other craft forms. His specialty is making Indian saddles and horse tack. He has prepared the Cheyenne exhibit for the fort, making all of the clothing and equipment. Other museums also have his work in their collections including the National Museum of American Indian, a division of the Smithsonian Institute.
This series is partially funded by a Kansas Humanities Council grant to the Edwards County Historical Society and Kinsley Library. The KHC conducts and supports community-based humanities programs, serves as a financial resource through an active grant-making program, and encourages Kansans to participate in their communities. For more information contact the Kansas Humanities Council at 785/357-0359 or www.kansashumanities.org.
Complete series schedule and information about the series is available at the Kinsley Library website, www.kinlseylibrary.info, by calling the library at 620-659-3341, or by coming in and picking up a brochure at 208 E. 8th St. , Kinsley.