Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 47.djvu/105

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97
WOMAN AS AN INVENTOR AND MANUFACTURER.

be, the whalers helped her with steel tools. The Indian woman had three tools—to wit: the stone knife for cutting away the flesh;

PSM V47 D105 Making coiled ware in basket bowl.jpg
Fig. 6.—Making Coiled Ware in Basket Bowl. (After Cushing.)

the hoe-shaped scraper for splitting the skin; and the grainer, a hoe or chisel-like tool with serrated edge to roughen up the inner side of the robe and give it flexibility. Besides these, both Eskimo and Indian had hands and feet and teeth for pulling and pounding and breaking the grain. They had also a wonderful supply of pride in their work, and love of applause, which kept them up to the mark of doing the best that could be done with their, resources." The scraper is the oldest instrument of any craft in the world. The Indian women of Montana still receive their trade from their mothers, and they, in turn, were taught by theirs in unbroken succession since the

PSM V47 D105 Bowl as base mold for coiled basket base.jpg
Fig. 7.—Basket Bowl as Base Mold for Large Vessel, showing also the Smoothing Process after Coiling. (After Cushing.)

birth of the human species. With the scraper the hair was removed, when that was desired, after having been loosened by exposure to chemical treatment with quicklime, or by a process of fermentation. The methods of preparation corresponded with the purposes to which the skin was to be applied, and these were various. "The tailoring of savage women, especially that of the North American women, is most interesting. While the weavers in the south were making blankets and serapes in the whole piece, never cutting their goods, the tailors north of the Mexican border were excellent cutters. For scissors they used the woman's knife, called ula by the Eskimos, a blade of chert or other rock, crescent--