Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 47.djvu/103
WOMAN AS AN INVENTOR AND MANUFACTURER.
mand a certain treatment. Women of the lowest grades of culture have not been slow in discovering this; so that between them and the natural product there has been a kind of understanding or co-operation leading to local styles. If these women were moved far away, they carried oftentimes these processes with them and plied their old trade upon such strange materials as they discovered in the new home." So negro women brought basket-making from Africa to America and taught it to the Indians.
Subsidiary to the weaving and basket-making practiced by women in savagery are spinning, netting, looping, braiding, sewing, and embroidery. Bark-cloth weaving is practiced by women in the tropics all round the world. "Each and all of these require tools which the workwomen must fashion for themselves.
|Fig. 4.—Eskimo Fat Scraper of Reindeer Antler and Rawhide. (After Mason.)|
And, though the earth had the raw materials in abundance, it did not yield them without a search which would do honor to the manufacturers of our day.... Aboriginal woman's basketry excites the admiration of all lovers of fine work. It is difficult to say which receives the most praise—the forms, the coloring, the patterns, or the delicacy of manipulation. Primarily, her basketry divides itself into two
sorts of types—the woven and the sewed, the former built up on a warp, the latter produced by the continuous stitching of a coil. Of these two main classes there are many subclasses, which have been necessitated by the nature of the material which the fabricator has at her hands, and by the uses to which the products have to be put."
Weaving is the climax of the textile industry; and "among all the types of modern savagery—American, negroid, and Malayo-Polynesian—intricate processes of weaving were in vogue before they were approached by the white race." In comparison with the complex and world-embracing activity of modern weaving and commerce, "how simple the process in savagery! The women there go to the fields or to the animals for the fiber, or hair, or wool. They transport the material on their backs, in carrying