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: NetsContentsPrevious: Mats

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


CORDAGE

The simplest binding was a withe of grapevine or a grass stem. To tie bundles of greens and other plants the Central Miwok used the stem of a sedge (Carex) called soma.

String (luka'bunu, N; hūkápa, C; u'mahī, S) was made by both men and women from various bast fibers, especially the milkweeds Asclepius cordifolia, Asclepius giffordi, and A. speciosa (ti'gūn, P; tī'gunu’, N; sū'kkenű, tumuka, C). Fremontia californica bast was similarly used, and presumably that of Apocynum cannabinum. Milkweed for string was gathered in summer and was dried by placing flat on the ground, or it was gathered in the fall and winter when naturally dry. The fiber used for string was not the outer covering of the stems, but the layer next within, lying between the outer covering and the pithy center. After drying, the stems were combed through a loop of green willow held in the right hand. The combed stems were wound into balls. In this state the fiber was called umazi (C). In spinning, two groups of fibers are tied at one end, then rolled downward on the thigh. As the spinning proceeds, the lower end of the twisted portions is held between the thumb and finger of the left hand. The rolling is done with the right hand, which is spat in from time to time. When a sufficient length has been done, the tied end is held and the string rolled back up the thigh to bring the two elements together and to tighten the twist. Cordage seems to have been generally two-ply, though the Field Museum has Central Miwok examples of three-ply and four-ply cordage as well (70280, 1-3).



Next: NetsContentsPrevious: Mats

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/cordage.html