Way of the Raven General Information
WAY OF THE RAVEN
Benjamin ‘Raven’ Pressley
Primitive, Survival & Wilderness Living Skills
Workshops — Presentations — Resources — Primitive Hunting Weaponry — Primitive Items — Museum Replication — Living History — Native American & Primitive People Lifeways—Birthday Parties—Team Building—Ministry—Author–Teacher
“Why practice the skills of ancient man? Each time we breathe in the smoke of a fire created by rubbing one stick against another, we breathe in the air of the dawn of all time. Each time we crack two stones together, we rejoin the brotherhood of man and a past that unites us all. Learning is ever on the increase, yet all we learn swirls together as it joins into and affects time forever. What we do with that which we have learned can bless or curse future generations. Everything our hands do imprints upon time forever. There are those in the past who knew this…perhaps, it is time we took the hand of time gone by to learn what we have forgotten.”—Benjamin ‘RAVEN’ Pressley
Benjamin ‘RAVEN’ Pressley practices and teaches the skills of the past; primitive, survival and wilderness living skills practiced for generations by Native Americans and aboriginal peoples all over the world.
“If you go back into anyone’s past far enough, no matter where your ancestry lies, your ancestors practiced these skills. So, in a sense, it is the past that unites us all. These skills are of interest and use to many people for many different reasons. Some are interested in how ancient peoples lived from day to day. Outdoors enthusiasts are interested because these skills are also skills that would apply if thrust into a survival situation with loss of modern gear. All find that learning and practicing these skills give them an appreciation and enhances their enjoyment for what nature and the outdoors has to offer.” (Benjamin ‘RAVEN’ Pressley)
Raven has taught all ages in classes. he now teaches independently on as needed or contract basis. Formerly he taught many classes through WINDSONG PRIMITIVES and the organization he and a friend founded, called TRIBE. TRIBE was a great success. TRIBE was a successful network, school and a resource that brought together people practicing primitive skills all over the U.S., with membership in Guam, Canada, Spain, Mexico, England and New Guinea. TRIBE published a quarterly newsletter that contained articles, news, events, resources and information for anyone interested in the skills of the past. Raven was the Editor and Director. TRIBE has since had to disband due to the time it was taking at a time when all the staff had other pursuits that demanded their time also. He has taught and continues to teach at schools, civic organizations, Scouts, Y-Indian Guides, Royal Rangers, YMCA, museums and historical sites. He has written and self published 13 books on various primitive, survival and wilderness living skills. He is also a writer for magazines, such as: Backwoodsman, Wilderness Way and American Survival Guide. Benjamin has been a Staff Editor for Backwoodsman magazine and the Southeastern U.S. Field Editor for Wilderness Way magazine. He has played in instructional video curriculum and educational television movies depicting life in our country between 1750-1790.
WHAT WAY OF THE RAVEN HAS TO OFFER:
Raven is able to bring years of experience to your school, club, civic organization or group. He is also available for personal instruction. Raven is able to offer demonstrations, lectures, hands-on instructional classes and workshops of any length, whatever you have in mind. He is able to offer instruction and presentation of primitive, wilderness living, survival, early American (Historic, i.e. After Columbus), Native American (Historic and Prehistoric) and aboriginal skills and crafts. Below you will find a list of some of the many things he is able to offer. He will be glad to work with you to plan a program to suit your special needs. WAY OF THE RAVEN can connect you with just about any program of instruction or presentation you have in mind. In this packet you will also find endorsements, a biography and information about Raven and WAY OF THE RAVEN. Other references are available on request. Feel free to give us a call with any questions you may have. Feel free to discuss any special needs you may have in the area of skills presentation or financially.
SKILL PRESENTATIONS, CLASSES AND PROGRAMS AVAILABLE:
Please inquire about any program you have in mind, for the list of skills below are constantly being added to. Most of the programs can be adapted to any age group.
Frontier Living: Skills of the European pioneer on American soil, Native American lifeways and skills.
Wilderness Tool Making: Edges for cutting, tools for pounding, drilling, digging from stone, bone, shell and wood.
Illuminations: Primitive lighting methods that are fun and practical to make and use. Torches, candles, oil lamps, make your own stone oil lamp and wick; pine pitch, vegetable oil, animal fats as fuel.
Firecraft: Making fire without matches: bow & drill, flint & steel and more.
Fire building: How to build and use many different fire arrangements. Fire safety and fire fighting.
Jewelry Making: Learn to make chokers, pendants, necklaces, bracelets and more from natural materials, like stone, bone, wood, seeds and more.
Native American & Aboriginal Lore: Stories, lifeways of aboriginal peoples.
Ropecraft: Knots, lashing, projects to build around camp, things from string.
Tool Care: Using, sharpening and taking care of steel tools.
Braintan Buckskin: Learn to tan hides the Native American way. Still the most economical way of producing a garment quality hide.
Basic Survival Skills: One day demonstrations, weekends and longer, covering shelter, fire, water food and all the basic needs of one cast into the survival situation. Also traps. snares, primitive weaponry and much more.
Baskets, Containers & Burden Baskets: Baskets, woven bags, cane & bamboo containers, pack & burden baskets, gourd bowls, canteens, wooden, burn & scrape bowls, cups, pottery and more.
Traps & Snares: How to construct and use traps and snares for capturing meat animals.
Primitive & Survival Hunting Weaponry: Weapons you can construct in the wilderness to hunt with. Atlatls, spears, bows & arrows, rabbit (throwing) sticks, slings, bolas and more.
Primitive & Survival Fishing Technologies: Line, hooks, traps, wiers, poisons and more that you can produce and use in the wild to catch fish for food.
Orienteering: Finding direction with and without compass.
Wilderness Cooking: Learn methods of cooking with or without utensils. One of my most demanded instructional sessions.
Leather Working: Primitive and modern methods of producing items from animal hide.
Cordage: Making string in the wild. Which plants to use, how to process the fibers. Also string from animal parts (hide, sinew, etc.)
Working With Natural Materials: How to work with bone, shell, wood, stone and more for decoration and tools.
Games & Recreation From The Past: Games played by the European pioneer, Native American and aboriginal peoples from around the world.
Earth Appreciation & Awareness: Games and educational programs that increase observation skills, knowledge and appreciation for the earth we all share.
Grass and Cattail Leaf Mats: Learn different methods of weaving grass into mats for sitting, sleeping, floor covering or shingling a shelter.
Primitive Rhythms: Rattles from gourd and rawhide, shakers, bones, finger drums and more.
Shelter Building: Learn to make many shelters simple and advanced, for 1 person or more, prehistoric, historical and survival.
Finger Weaving: Learn to finger weave straps, tumplines and bags.
Any of the skills described above may be adapted to a birthday party any age will not soon forget. Authentic, educational crafts, storytelling, games. Indian or pioneer themed.
Raven is a born again Christian and is available for small group ministry and conferences for all ages. Nothing opens the eyes of a person than applying God’s creation and its many applications to everyday life. Get your group in the outdoors for an experience they will never forget. His message of spirituality is not religious. It is about a relationship with God the Creator.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT WAY OF THE RAVEN PROGRAMS, BOOKS & PRODUCTS:
Excerpts from some of many actual letters on file:
Regarding Workshops and Presentations By Raven:
“I really enjoyed the Braintan Conference, I learned a lot. I look forward to our next meeting.”
—R.R., Primitive Skills Student, Fort Bragg, NC
“Thanks so much for your contributions of time, patience and skills. Your session helped to make the Kitty Love (Girl Scouts)Camporee a success. The girls got a lot out of the sessions you led. Thanks for being generous enough to say yes. –B.K., Girl Scout Leader, Gastonia, NC
“Just wanted you to know that your ‘Lamps & Torches’ workshop was excellent! As usual, Benjamin, you make the subject come to life with your expert presentations and handouts. Thanks for involving we students with the hands-on experience of becoming ‘one’ with the firemaking, similar to what I imagine the ancients experienced. I especially like displaying my soapstone oil lamp for others to admire. The bark torch and cane torch really burned great and were easy to assemble once you had instructed us. You are a very qualified instructor and make workshops interesting and fun!”
—C.R., Primitive Skills Student, Charlotte, NC
“I just had to tell you that your ‘Rabbit Stick’ workshop was of the highest quality in every way! It was very evident with your very knowledgeable presentation that this weapon was a real piece of technology! Thank-you for taking the time to explain the technology that went into not just making these but also in using them. It was so interesting to watch those practicing throwing their fine pieces of workmanship as they became ‘one’ with their stick in a smooth carried through movement. I was impressed with your marksmanship when your rabbit stick pierced into the target! Hope you’re around when we need you. We certainly wouldn’t go hungry with you there!”
—B.J.M., Primitive Skills Student and Instructor, Clover, SC
“A big thanks! I really enjoyed your ‘Survival’ class and your class on ‘Braintan’. I was pleased with the finished hide. Your classes are so full of information and so fun. Well worth the money!”
—S.W., Businessman, Charlotte, NC
“Best money I ever spent!” —T.L., Scout Leader, Charlotte, NC
“You are a master of many skills and an excellent instructor.” —D.C., Jonesboro, GA
Regarding Books Written By Raven:
“Your books are excellent. They are accurate, understandable and the illustrations are superb. For classes and teaching purposes I have never used a better resource.”
—D.S., Educator, Philadelphia, PA
“The book, ‘Bow & Drill Firemaking’ is very clear and concise, it should be the first step for anyone who has an interest in making or using a bow and drill for making fire. The book is well illustrated.”
—C.W., Coweta, OK
Regarding Replications and Crafts Made By Raven:
“Thank-you very much for all that you’ve done. I love both my medicine bags that you made me. I appreciate all the work you did in getting a picture (from movie studio for replication of medicine bag of movie character) to go by, so you could make exactly what I wanted.” —R.R., Fort Bragg, NC
“The throwing stick has earned a place in my wife’s collection of Australian aboriginal pieces. It looks like it belongs right in with her throwing sticks and woomera, which are authentic aborigine.”
—D.S., Educator, Philadelphia, PA
“I have received the bow and drill firemaking set, and I have made fire! I am very happy with the set. It is obvious to me that much care and pride have gone into the making of the set and a part of the craftsman’s spirit comes with them. I believe you have brought together a teacher’s heart and a craftsman’s hand when you mde my bow & drill set. It is good medicine!” —C.W., Coweta, OK
“I just received the bow and drill firemaking kit. I am very impressed with the quality craftsmanship and would like to commend you for your effort to keep the ancient survival skills alive in such a way that honors traditional skills and does not succumb to mass production for the sake of making a buck.” —T.P., Wexford, PA
“TRIBE is a great thing. Geri and I have pushed for and supportted any efforts in communication and sharing. We need more regional networking and gathering. We wish you well.”
—John McPherson, Well Known Instructor and Writer of Primitive Skills, Randolph, KS
“When the SONGLINE was begun, we hoped that it would awaken others to the need for sharing resources and information, and lead to more communication on both local and national levels. TRIBE is exactly the result we hoped for.”
—Dave Wescott, Director of B.O.S.S., Editor of Bulletin of Primitive Technology, Well known primitive skills Instructor
“TRIBE makes accessible the sharing of a wealth of knowledge and information which was not readily available to me as a youth. Now that I am 44 and have my own children, I would like to thank TRIBE and it’s organizers for being here.” —R.G.J., Educator & Storyteller, Beaufort, NC
Regarding TRIBE GATHERING:
“The TRIBE instructors were the most qualified and interesting I’ve worked with. A great experience!” —B.J.M., Clover, SC
“Everyone gave so much without expecting anything in return and they didn’t give it in a half-hearted manner either…a wonderful, fun filled learning experience.” —S.G., Charlotte, NC
“A hundred and one amount of fun!” —Lacey (5 years old), Charlotte, NC
“We really liked our time at the TRIBE Gathering! Thank-you deeply to all the workers and teachers who gave their energy and and talents so generously. It was a mighty big give-away!”
—A.A., Warrensville, NC
“When I think of all the different people who came, literally from all different parts of the country, just to be there and to share what they know with others, purely out of love, I am awed! No one expected anything at all in return! It was so refreshing and revitalizing for me to attend an event such as this where there was such a strong sense of community, sharing and caring. It was refreshing not to see rows of vendors lined up hawking their wares and just trying to make a buck. To all the staff and members of TRIBE and all who participated in the Gathering and gave so much with love, I say thank-you for blessing me with your gifts. If you left the weekend with half as much as I got then you are truly blessed, too.” —S.G., Charlotte, NC
“The Gathering was wonderful, mostly because of all the good feelings and kinship.”
–J.W., Sugar Grove, NC
“Not only did I meet some of the nicest people in the world, but I feel that I have been associated with some of the masters of primitive/aboriginal skills in terms of knowledge, patience and teaching ability.” —D.C., Jonesboro, GA
“What a deal! We operate on a very small cash flow and really appreciate the chance for our whole family to learn so much for so little.” —S.S., Fairview, NC
“Thanks for organizing the Gathering. It really helped me so much. I think you may not know just how important this work is you are doing, or maybe you do!”
—K.J., Drummer & Drum Maker, Asheville, NC
Magazines Written For:
Backwoodsman,Charlie Richie Richie\Publisher, Westcliffe, CO
American Survival Guide, Jim Benson\Editor, Placentia, CA
Outdoor Guides News, Rick Farren\Editor, Tallahassee, FL
Practical Survival, Tom Slizewski\Editor, Boulder, CO
Wilderness Way Magazine, Stevew Hulsey\ Editor, Lufkin, TX
Obediah’s Okefenok, Waycross, GA. Billy Brantley\Owner, Tina Rowell\Manager. Museum and historical area. Benjamin did a series of programs on Native American living and built a permanent exhibit of a pre-1750’s Seminole hunting camp complete with ‘chickee’ type shelter.
—MORE ENDORSEMENTS AND REFERENCES AVAILABLE ON REQUEST
Special prices, discounts and scholarships are available to non-profit organizations, youth groups, schools, etc. You may also want to inquire about group rates. You will find that you get much more than your money’s worth in a manner that is professional, fun, informative and educational. There are many ways you can save money if we work together. The basic rates listed below may be negotiable. Discuss your special needs with us. A package, total price for your particular need will be agreed upon. The schedule below is intended only to give you a basic idea of what is charged.
DEMONSTRATIONS AND LECTURES: $50-$75 per hour plus expenses. Based on ½ hour-4 hour lecture or demonstration.
BASIC RATE PER DAY RATE: $300 minimum plus expenses, first day and one day programs. Based on 5-8 hour day. Reduced rate for added days. Demonstrations, lectures: unlimited number of people. Simple hands-on instruction: up to 15 participants may split up this daily rate. More than 15 may be added at a discounted rate..
HANDS-ON INSTRUCTIONAL WORKSHOPS & CLASSES: $300-up plus expenses, first day and one day workshops and classes. Reduced rate for added days. Average Class Size: 10-20 participants. Larger classes that require assistance may incur more expense.
EXPENSES: Expenses may include traveling, materials, paying an assistant, etc. All expenses will be discussed and agreed upon in advance. No surprises. In many cases, materials are gathered in wild as part of class or in advance and no material cost is charged. Participants may also get a reduced rate if helping gather materials in advance in some cases.
Raven teaches classes through the WOODSRUNNER SCHOOL OF SELF-RELIANCE in Clinton, SC and is also available on a for hire basis. For more about WOODSRUNNER SCHOOL OF SELF-RELIANCE and to view a calendar of classes available just click on the image below.