TOPEKA – Humanities Kansas recently awarded $9,000 to the Santa Fe Trail Center Museum of Larned in support of “Rendezvous 2018: Death on the Trail,” a public discussion series. Becca Hiller serves as project director. All peoples, regardless of race, ethnicity, culture, gender, or age will experience death. However, how we die, the customs we follow to bury and mourn the dead, and our beliefs about the afterlife differ greatly from one group to another.
Topics that will be explored include not only the reasons for death on the trail but also the mourning and burial customs of Anglo, Hispanic, and American Indian cultures that interacted on the historic trade route. Presenters include Minoma Littlehawk Sills, an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma and a direct descendent of survivors of the Sand Creek and Washita Massacres.
The three-day conference will begin with a marker dedication for Boyd’s Ranch on the grounds of the Larned State Hospital complex Thursday evening followed by dinner and a presentation at the Santa Fe Trail Center Museum. It will continue with presentations on Friday and Saturday at the Larned Community Center and Fort Larned National Historic Site.
“Humanities Kansas supports projects that explore bold new ideas,” said Julie Mulvihill, Humanities Kansas Executive Director. “This series of public presentations will take an unconventional look at the lethal forces that shaped life on the Santa Fe Trail.”Full information about the conference will be on the Santa Fe Trail Center Museum website in mid-June and interested members of the public can register on the site to attend all or part of the conference. Additionally, members of the Fort Larned Historical Society, Santa Fe Trail Association, and Fort Larned Old Guard.
About Humanities Kansas
Humanities Kansas is an independent nonprofit spearheading a movement of ideas to empower the people of Kansas to strengthen their communities and our democracy. Since 1972, our pioneering programming, grants, and partnerships have documented and shared stories to spark conversations and generate insights. Together with our partners and supporters, we inspire all Kansans to draw on history, literature, ethics, and culture to enrich their lives and serve the communities and state we all proudly call home. Visit humanitieskansas.org.