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


CLIMBING

In scaling a straight smooth large tree trunk, a small dead tree was sometimes set against it to serve as a ladder (tcone, C). Another climbing apparatus, called anga (C), consisted of a long pole, in some cases twenty to twenty-four feet, usually of hazel wood, with two crosspieces of hazel wood near the top. These were lashed on with split maple (sayi, C) shoots (from the base of a burnt tree), so as to form two obtuse and two acute angles with the pole. The base of the hazel pole formed the upper part of the apparatus, which was hooked over a limb and used more as a rope than a ladder. The greatest diameter of the pole probably did not exceed an inch and a half. The climber went up it hand over hand with his feet against the trunk. The hazel wood for the anga was cut with a sharp-edged stone (sawa tepeppi, C) naturally fractured and not chipped.

Smaller trees were climbed by putting the arms around them and she soles of the feet against the trunk. The knees were not pressed against the trunk as in the white man’s way of shinning up a tree.

In the University’s collection is a Southern Miwok wooden hook (1-10332), made from a small tree trunk with the base of a branch projecting from it at a forty-five degree angle, thus making a hook. The handle is slightly over five feet long. This was used to draw limbs to gatherers of pine cones or other tree products, and to hook down dead limbs for firewood. A second example (1-10333) is of about the same length. Both were made with steel tools, but no doubt exemplify an ancient type.



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