Home A - Z FAQ Art Prints Online Library Discussion Forum Muir Weather Maps About Search
Online Library: Title Author California Geology History Indians Muir Mountaineering Nature Management

Next: Arts & IndustriesContentsPrevious: Grinding House

Miwok Material Culture: Indian Life of the Yosemite Region (1933) by S. A. Barrett and E. W. Gifford


ACORN GRANARY

Acorns were stored whole in specially constructed caches. Large ones (tca'kka, P, N, C, S) are shown in plate XXXI, fig. 8. A small one (he'sma, N), built in a low branching bush, was more or less of a makeshift. It was an inverted cone about three and a half feet high, and had a capacity of perhaps a bushel. Powers74 figures Miwok acorn granaries of the large type.

The large type of cache was constructed with care. Several vertical posts were set firmly into the ground. About these, heavy grapevine or other withes were bound to form hoops. Inside were bound small vertical poles forming the ribs of the cache. Within these was placed a horizontal layer of twigs and brush, inside of which was laid a lining of weeds and grass. So tightly were these caches built, that they were used for the storage of grass seeds. There was no true weaving, but the inside of such a cache resembled a bird’s nest in construction.

The smaller of the two illustrated in plate XXXI, fig. 8, stood originally about six feet high. It had four grapevine hoops and a thick roof of weeds and twigs. The larger was nearly twelve feet high, had six vertical posts and five grapevine hoops. The conical bottom rested on a block of wood about a foot high by fifteen inches in diameter. Two grapevine hoops passed around an adjacent pine tree, which served as a support for both these caches. The larger cache was five feet in diameter and its conical bottom was about three and a half feet deep. Sometimes the bottom of such a cache was suspended two or three feet off the ground. The top of the cache was covered with layers of grass and brush so placed as to shed the rain. Over this was usually placed a final roof of cedar-bark or pine-bark slabs. Thus was produced a water-tight storehouse where a whole winter’s supply of acorns or seeds could be kept. Nearly every family had at least one of these caches, and a man of importance who must provide for feasts required several.

No special opening was provided for removing the acorns or seeds. The construction made it possible to make a rent in the side from which the acorns would run into a basket held below. When a sufficient quantity had been secured, the weeds and grass of the side were readjusted to make it tight again.

According to Powers75 acorn granaries were sometimes miles from the villages where their owners dwelt.

———
74 Powers, fig. 32.
75 Powers, 351.



Next: Arts & IndustriesContentsPrevious: Grinding House

Home A - Z FAQ Art Prints Online Library Discussion Forum Muir Weather Maps About Search
Online Library: Title Author California Geology History Indians Muir Mountaineering Nature Management

http://www.yosemite.ca.us/library/miwok_material_culture/acorn_granary.html