When Europeans encountered the Calusa people on Florida's west coast, they did not have cameras available. And when archaeologists unearthed the tools and art work of daily life of these people, it was work of artists which allowed them to bring to life again this vibrant culture.
The work of Merald Clark is well known to visitors of the Calusa Heritage Trail where his images grace the information panels. Clark will be a featured speaker during Calusa Heritage Day on Saturday, March 9, presenting at 1 p.m. Clark is a trained anthropologist holding a M.A. in anthropology and two B.A. degrees, one in zoology and one in biological illustration. The focus on his talk will be the masks and figureheads of the Calusa. Clark's most recent publication, "A Mechanical Waterbird Mask from Pineland and the Calusa Masking Tradition" appears in the newly released monograph, The Archaeology of Pineland edited by Bill Marquardt and Karen Walker. His artistic renditions of the Calusa are also prominent as the cover of the novel, The Song of the Tides, by Tom Joseph and within the pages of Charles Blanchard's book, New Words, Old Songs.
Calusa Heritage Day is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 9 at the Calusa Heritage Trail, Randell Research Center, 13810 Waterfront Drive, Pineland. (Please note: GPS users should input Bokeelia instead of Pineland.) Admission is $5 for adults, free to children; Randell Center members also are free. Parking, including handicapped parking, is available on site. Free water is available throughout the day; participants are encouraged to bring a refillable water bottle.
Daily Life from the Calusa Heritage Trail by Merald Clark.
Food is for sale by Pine Island-based Little Lillie's Island Deli and Mel Meo's fish wagon. Info: (239) 283-2062 or (239) 283-2157; online: www.flmnh.ufl.edu/rrc/. Randell Research Center is dedicated to archaeology, history, ecology and preserving the Calusa legacy.