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


BONE AND ANTLER IMPLEMENTS

The commonest bone implement was the awl (lu'ya, P; tci’lla, N, C; tcu’lla, C), used especially in the manufacture of coiled basketry. A series of awls is depicted in plate XXXIX. These were made chiefly from the splint bone of the deer and from the proximal end of the posterior cannon bone (fused metatarsals). The Field Museum of Natural History possesses an eyed bone needle (70170), 133 mm. long, from the Southern Miwok, and from the Central Miwok a dagger (70264) of a flat piece of elk antler, attached to a leather wrist thong. The dagger is 268 mm. long.

Whistles employed in certain ceremonial dances were made of hollow bones. Jackrabbit and Sierra grouse limb bones were utilized. For examples, see plate LVII, figs. 1-8.

Points of antler were used in the knapping of flint and obsidian points and blades. The Field Museum of Natural History has a Central Miwok knapper set (70146, 1-2), with a guard of buckskin. That institution also has a chisel of deer antler (70154) and a pointed tool of deer antler (70153), both used for picking or digging out wooden bowls, and both Southern Miwok.

Plate LVIII, fig. 11, shows a deer antler implement used for extracting acorns stored by woodpeckers.

Scrapers (otcati, C) of split deer leg bone were used to work down a bow. A sharp tibia was used as a scraper (lutaa, C) to remove hair from a deer hide.

Certain pieces of stone are reputed to be whetstones for bone awls and bone daggers. The best example seen is a slate specimen (70265) in the Field Museum. It was found with the bone dagger (70264) in a cave at Little Tuolumne, in the mountains of the Central Miwok territory. Two other slate examples from the Central Miwok of Tuolumne county are 70164, 1-2.


EXPLANATION OF PLATE XXXIX.

Deer-bone awls, chiefly employed in basket making.

Figure 1. Spec. No. 1-10228 (S). Length 162 mm.

Figure 2. Spec. No. 1-10187 (C).

Figure 3. Spec. No. 1-10116 (C).

Figure 4. Spec. No. 1-10072 (C).

Figure 5. Spec. No. 1-10125 (C).

Figure 6. Spec. No. 1-10172 (C).

Figure 7. Spec. No. 1-10074 (C).

Figure 8. Spec. No. 1-10117 (C).

Figure 9. Spec. No. 1-10280 (C).

Figure 10. Spec. No. 1-9914 (N).

Figure 11. Spec. No. 1-10241 (S).

Figure 12. Spec. No. 1-10262 (S).

Figure 13. Spec. No. 1-10242 (S).

Figure 14. Spec. No. 1-10036 (N).

Figure 15. Spec. No. 1-10171 (C).

Neg. No. 4814.

Deer-bone awls, chiefly employed in basket making.
[click to enlarge]

EXPLANATION OF PLATE LVII.

Bone objects.

Figure 1. Double whistle from feather dance cloak. Spec. No. 1-10037 (N).

Figure 2. Double whistle from feather dance cloak. Spec. No. 1-10038 (N).

Figure 3. Whistle. Spec. No. 1-9991 (N).

Figure 4. Whistle. Length 170 mm. Spec. No. 1-9992 (N).

Figure 5. Whistle. Spec. No. 1-9996 (N).

Figure 6. Whistle. Spec. No. 1-9993 (N).

Figure 7. Bird bone to be used in making a whistle. Spec. No. 1-9994 (N).

Figure 8. Bird bone to be used in making a whistle. Spec. No. 1-9995 (N).

Figures 9-12. Set of gambling bones used by women in playing hand game. Spec. No. 1-10364 (C). See plate LVIII, fig. 1, for counters.

Figures 13-14. Pair of bones for hand game. Spec. No. 1-9918 (N).

Neg. No. 8273.

Bone objects.
[click to enlarge]

Bone and wooden objects.
[click to enlarge]

EXPLANATION OF PLATE LVIII.

Bone and wooden objects.

Figure 1. Eight wooden counters used with bones in plate LVII, figs. 9-14. Spec. No. 1-10365 (C).

Figures 2, 3. Mesh sticks for making hair net. Spec. Nos. 1-9990 (N) and 1-9988 (N). Fig. 3, length, 135 mm.

Figure 4. Mesh sticks for net making. Spec. No. 1-10022 (N).

Figure 5. Same as fig. 3. Spec. No. 1-9989 (N).

Figure 6. Same as fig. 3. Spec. No. 1-9987 (N).

Figures 7-10. Leg bones of deer, partly worked and polished, to be used in making gambling bones. Spec. Nos. 1-9984 (N), 1-9983 (N), 1-9986 (N), and 1-9985 (N).

Figure 11. Deer antler implement, used to extract acorns from the bark of trees, where they had been placed by woodpeckers. Spec. No. 1-9968 (N).

Neg. No. 8272.



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