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


DIGGING

The digging stick (sū'pe, C, S) was three or four feet long and usually made of mountain mahogany, but sometimes of Buck Brush, paiwa (C), Ceanothus cuneatus. The piece to be used for a digging stick was hacked off with a sharp-edged stone and scraped with flint. Its point was hardened by fire. It was held in both hands like a quarter staff and jabbed into the ground close to the object to be dug. The left hand grasped the stick eight or ten inches above the point. The right hand grasped it a foot or slightly more above the left hand. Two examples in the Field Museum are 70178 and 70179. An example is shown in plate LIX, fig. 5. For digging bulbs from the sun-baked, hard ground, a digging stick was more effective than a steel spade, for only the minimum quantity of earth was moved.



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