If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
By Marisue Potts
Special for The Hesperian-Beacon
ROARING SPRINGS – Like the buzzards that return to Roaring Springs on the first day of spring, flint knappers will converge at the Community Center in Roaring Springs the last weekend in January to create masterpieces out of rock, volcanic glass, and flint, technically known as chert. Really, who ever heard of Chert Knappers?
The West Texas Knapp-In will open on Friday, January 24, as knappers set up and begin their demonstrations from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. For those who choose to stay for an informal supper served in the Community Center, they may hear lectures on types of arrow points, migration routes, and flint sources. On Saturday from 8:30 to 5:30, the knappers will continue their trade, but will be joined by collectors eager to share information about their artifacts and vendors selling a variety of objects. Lunch will be provided at a nominal cost, but there is no admission charge. Display tables are also free of charge, but vendors will be charged $20 a table.
For the sixth year, Vyrl Keeter of Muskogee, Oklahoma, will headline the annual non-profit event. A Cherokee National Treasure honoree, Keeter is no stranger to this area. The self-taught knapper has participated in the National Cowboy Symposium, the Comanchero Canyons Museum’s Rendezvous, and the Texas Archeological Field School in Palo Duro Canyon. He and other Cherokee Nation craftsmen and women have been flown by the Cherokee Nation to Washington, D.C. to demonstrate their arts at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Native Americans.
As a former educator and school administrator, nothing makes this knapper happier than taking the time to instruct young people (as well as older) and spark their interest in the making of valued treasures out of the stone he has procured from places as distant as Burns, Oregon; Davis Creek, California; Springfield, Missouri; and as near as Georgetown, Texas. Burns Green Obsidian, Rainbow Obsidian, Dasite, Peoria, Novaculite, Edwards and other sources will be available for sale, along with tool kits to get started. Other knappers will also offer their time and encouragement, as well as rock sources to visitors.
Roaring Springs is located in the Caprock Foothills, 8 miles south of Matador on State Highway 70. For more information contact Events Coordinator Robert Hall, 903-261-1044 or local contact Marisue Potts 806 348-7137.