Page:Firemaking Apparatus in the U.S. National Museum.djvu/26

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552 REPORT OF NATIONAL MUSEUM, 1888. The Japanese formerly used the simple drill ; a few are yet preserved in the temples. Under the name of " Sacred fire drill it is described* as a board 1 foot wide, 1 foot 4 inches long, 1 inch thick, and with a step 1 inch wide or over on one edge. It has holes and grooves like the Eskimo hearth. The drill is a stick twirled between the hands. The parts are of the hi-no-U^ or fire tree, Chaynieocxjparis ohtusa. The drill is called hi-Mri-usu, or fire drilling mortar. It was and perhaps is yet used for the purpose of drilling fire at the four corners of the temple inclosure to ward off the calamity of fire. They are said also to have used the rokuro, or pump drill. It is interesting to note that the Jap- anese carpenter's drill with the iron point is rotated between the palms. They are still in use. The one figured is in the Tokio Museum. Prof. Romyn Hitchcock has kindly allowed a drawing to be made of a photograph which he procured of a sacred fire drill preserved in the temple called Oyashiro, at Idzumo, »lapan (fig. 18). The hearth of Fig. 18. Sacked Fiuk Drill. From photograph of specimen iii Tokio Museum. Lent liy llomyn Hitclicock. this set is made of hinoM wood and the drill of the Ut-sug% Deutzia scabra. Professor Hitchcock says : The fire drill is used at the festivals of the Oyashiro to produce fire for use in cook- ing the food offered to the gods. Until the temple was examined oflQcially in 187'i, the head priest used it for preparing his private meals at all times. Since then it has been used only at festivals and in the head priest's honse on the eve of festivals, when he j)urifies himself for their celebration in the Imbidous, or room for preparing holy fire, where he makes the fire and prepares the food. The art of fire making by sticks of wood bj the method of rotation is, or has been, as far as we know, universal on the African continent as it was in the two Americas at the time of the discovery. There is not a clue as to how the ancient Egyptians generated fire. The Somalis are a pastoral people of Arab extraction, inhabiting a large maritime country south of the Gulf of Aden. Their fire-sticks (fig. 19) are pieces of branches of brownish wood of equal texture, in fact the hearth has formerly been used as a drill, as may be seen by its regularly-formed and charred end. This is another proof that it is not necessary that the sticks should be of different degrees of hardness. The grain of the wood, that of the drill being against and the hearth

  • Trans. Asiat. Soc. Japan. 1878, vi. Pt. ii, p. 223.