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


ADHESIVES

Central Miwok informants knew nothing about glue from fish heads. In fact in the mountain region there were few large fish. Soaproot juice and pine pitch seem to have been the only adhesives used. Hot soaproot juice applied to twined burden baskets made their walls impervious to the small seeds placed in them. This same fluid also served to bind the handles of brushes made of soaproot fibers. The use of this mucilaginous fluid on baskets suggests the Mono custom of water-proofing bottle baskets with pine pitch. The use of such utterly different plants for rather similar purposes suggests independent origins. If a single origin is the case, it is remarkable that the plant used by the inventors was not also utilized by the borrowers of the idea.



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