Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 47.djvu/102

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94
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

eaten there is a line of trades that are continuous and that are born of the environment."

The five sources of information respecting primitive woman's activities are found in history, which records the things of pristine

PSM V47 D102 Navajo woman loom weaver.jpg
Fig. 2. — The Primitive Loom Weaver — Navajo Woman, Arizona. (After Matthews.)

culture that lingered three or four thousand years ago; language, which has crystallized expressions descriptive of early conditions; archaeology, which recovers the things they did before there was any history; folklore, a perpetual record of the most ancient occupations and customs; and living tribes that have stood still during all the ages. The variety of occupations in which primitive woman displays her genius is illustrated in a description quoted from Im Thurn of the day's work of a Carib woman in British Guiana, in which she is seen performing the parts of a "mother, butcher, cook, beast of burden, fire maker and tender, miller, stonecutter (stone-griddle maker), most delicate and ingenious weaver, engineer (devising a mechanical press and sieve in one woven bag and using a lever of the third kind), baker, and preserver of food. Add to this her function of brewer, and you have no mean collection of primitive industries performed by one little body, all of which underlie occupations which in our day involve the outlay of millions of dollars and the co-operation of thousands of men."

PSM V47 D102 Eskimo scraper made to fit the hand of a woman.jpg

Fig. 3. — Eskimo "Scraper," made to fit the Woman's Hand. (After Mason.)

"Suppose a certain kind of raw material to abound in any area or country; you may be sure that savage women searched it out and developed it in their crude way. Furthermore, the peculiar qualities and idiosyncrasies of each substance suggest and de-