In the absence of Assistant Curator of Education, Christa Foster, Caleb Kotewa, also a Curator of Education, stepped in to lead the first Tot Time of 2019 Thursday.

In the absence of Assistant Curator of Education, Christa Foster, Caleb Kotewa, also a Curator of Education, stepped in to lead the first Tot Time of 2019 Thursday.


Youngsters gathered to learn about the petroglyphs and pictographs Native Americans would paint on caves or rock walls.


Kotewa explained this typically occurred more often in tribes located in Southern Illinois due to the availability of caves and rock walls, but in the spirit of the topic, he had set up boxes in various patterns to represent ‘caves’ and ‘rock walls’ allowing the children to finger paint to their heart’s desire.


He asked them if they had ever drawn a stick figure of themselves, which most eagerly answered they had.


“Have you ever went fishing?”


“I have! I have fished a lot!” shared one young man.


Kotwea said Native Americans would paint their experiences. For example the above mentioned youngster may have painted himself with fish he caught.


He went on to explain Native Americans had an upper world which would have been the sun and a lower world (similar to what most think of Heaven and Hell). For them, the lower world was represented by serpents. One such representation seen repeatedly on the walls of caves was a creature with leopard skin and antlers on a serpent’s body.


The kids were then left to finger paint their version of pictographs and petroglyphs!


Tot Time is held the first Thursday of each month, 9:30 a.m. at Dickson Mounds Museum.


Admission is free and registration is not required.