Page:American Anthropologist NS vol. 1.djvu/653

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588 AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST [n. s„ i, 1899

is a bit of cedar shaped like an elongated Indian club flattened at the thick end. The wood has been split and the large part or outer ends excavated to form thin, spoon-shape sections ; the smaller or inner ends have only little channels cut in them for an air passage ; the two halves are then lashed together with split spruce root at the inner end and at the point where the widening out begins ; the outer ends are left free. When the breath is forced in at the mouth-piece it causes the free ends both to open and close and to produce a harsh sound. There are in the Museum examples of this class also from the Skiddegate Indians of Queen Charlotte islands.

The Massets of the same locality improve on this in an instrument with longer chamber and thinner walls, and the two halves are lashed in three places instead of two, namely, at the ends and just above the chamber or enlarged cavity. The action, therefore, is more like that of a " double ribbon reed." By holding the tube between the fingers at different points between the lashings, distinct tones can be produced.

The only other specimen of this variety of reed instrument in the National Museum is from Fez and is called lira (number 95762). It is a short joint of cane with mouth-piece at the open end. The jointed end is split and the parts set in vibration by the breath produce a reedy musical sound.

All of the North Pacific specimens are excavated by splitting and hollowing a bit of soft wood, Indian fashion, after the manner of the flageolets of the plains tribes.

I shall be grateful for any reference to a wider distribution of the

44 inverted double reed."

E. H. Hawley.

U. S. National Museum.

Cabot on the American Natives, 1497-1508 — John Cabot, the English discoverer of America, sailed from Bristol, England, in May, 1497, in command of a little vessel carrying eighteen men. Steering westward, he came to land on June 24, somewhere on the coast of North America between Halifax and the straits of Belle Isle, most probably at or about Cape Breton island. Six weeks later he had re- turned to England, where his reports, confirmed by the stories of his shipmates, created much excitement. One of those who listened to the account of his adventures was Lorenzo Pasqualigo, a Venetian fellow citizen of the Cabots. Pasqualigo was in the habit of writing long news- letters to his brothers in Italy, and one of these, which has fortunately been preserved to our time, is dated August 23, 1497, less than a fort- night after Cabot's return to London. In it Pasqualigo gives an

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