V-Bar-V Archaeology Fair and Agave Roast 2008
How often do you get a chance to immerse yourself in the past? Over 550 visitors took time to participate in Red Rock District’s third annual V Bar V Archaeology Fair and Agave Roast on May 3 and 4. V Bar V Heritage Site is located southeast of the Village of Oak Creek off Forest Road 618, just past Beaver Creek. Fair activities included tasting several varieties of roasted agave and experiencing ancient traditions and technology. Yavapai-Apache Singers and a Bird Dancer kicked off the event, sharing their traditional songs and dance.
[Photo above] Yavapai Apache Bird Singers
According to Heather Provencio, Red Rock District Ranger, who brought her family to the event, “I was amazed at all the activities and how much I really learned. Our family had only planned to spend an hour at the event and ended up staying most of the afternoon. The agave was delicious, pottery making was fascinating, and I enjoyed challenging my husband to an atl-atl throwing contest.”
[Photo above] Coconino National Forest Archaeologist Peter Pilles talking to fair visitors
This year, seven agave plants were roasted producing approximately 180 pounds of southwest traditional food. The Agave Roast has been a central feature of the V Bar V Days archaeology fair for the last three years. Members of the Yavapai Apache Nation, especially the cultural preservation staff, have participated in all of these roasts. Going through the steps of gathering, roasting, and processing the agave gave everyone involved a new appreciation of how much work is involved to make a meal out of agave. This partnership has allowed the Yavapai Apache to relearn agave roasting methods and traditions that were close to being lost.
[Photo above] Roasted agave being removed from the pit after 4 days of roasting
V Bar V Archaeology Fair was hosted by the Red Rock Ranger District of the Coconino National Forest in cooperation with: Friends of the Forest, Arizona Natural History Association, Arizona Archaeological Society-Verde Valley Chapter, the Arizona Desert Botanical Garden, the Yavapai Apache Nation and the Southwest Academy.
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