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


CARRYING STRAPS AND SLINGS

Carrying straps or tump lines are called ela'ia (P), lü'ke (N), and luke (C). The Field Museum of Natural History has a carrying strap (70041) woven of Asclepius fiber string, attached to a very pointed, openwork burden basket (70033), from the Central Miwok of Tuolumne county. The strap shown in plate LXXVI is made of string of a different fiber, perhaps Apocynum, but is of similar weave. It is said to have been used in carrying a large ceremonial basket and is from the “Southern Mines country, probably Sonora.” It is probably Central Miwok or possibly Southern Miwok.

The middle section of the strap is of twined weave and is five feet, three inches long and an inch and a quarter wide. The terminal braided cords of the strap are forty and thirty-two inches long respectively.

We are indebted to Professor Lila M. O'Neale for making a special study of this carrying strap and for the following exact description of the technique employed.

1. Twining warps over weft moving in customary fashion. 22 warps. Regular twining with exception that lower warp crosses to left of 1-11; to right of 12-22, making pattern down center. The weft is a single heavy cord which doubles back and forth across the strap.

2. The ends are of eight-strand braid made by crossing outer right over outer left at center. Repeat.

3. The transition from twining to braiding is made by dividing the warp elements into two bundles and wrapping them in figure eight weave with the single thick weft cord, the end of which is worked into the braid. At one end of the twined portion there are three double courses of figure eight wrapping, at the other end four and five courses. The weft cord was wrapped with a broad straw-like material.

The Field Museum possesses a sling (70263) made of strings of Asclepius fibers. This sling has a finger loop, also a buckskin receptacle for the stone to be hurled. It is a Southern Miwok specimen.


Sections of one pack strap.
[click to enlarge]

EXPLANATION OF PLATE LXXVI.

Figures 1, 2. Sections of one pack strap. Spec. No. 1-20894 (C). Neg. No. 8273.



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