'Riverkings' exhibit highlights fishermen who made living on the Kaw

“Riverkings” — generations of fishermen who made their livings and supported their families on the Kansas River — are the subject of a new exhibit at the Watkins Community Museum of History. “Riverkings of Kansas: Life on the Kaw” opens with a reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at the museum, 1047 Massachusetts St.

“It represents a piece of important Lawrence history when ‘living off the land’ meant providing sustenance for oneself and for the community,” guest curator Barbara Higgins-Dover said in a news release. “It is a history that reminds us of cultural difference, hard work, determination and survival.”

Friday’s opening will feature a hands-on activity in collaboration with Kansas University’s Natural History Museum. Visitors will be able to try gyotaku, a Japanese printmaking method traditionally used by fishermen to record their catches. A fish is painted by hand, then covered with paper or fabric so the paint is transferred and an image of the fish results.


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