540 REPORT OF NATIONAL MUSEUM, 1888. pride in their skill ; to be a quick fire- maker is to achieve fame in the tribe. They are food of exhibiting their art to white travelers in the hope of gain. Another form of hearth (fig. 8.) is made of yucca flower stalk, like those of the Apache and Navajos. The drill is of tule reed, set with a very hard wood head. It is suggested that the reason for splicing the drill is that the hard wood of the kind used for the head (grease- wood) can not be procured in pieces long enough to make the whole drill. This set is apparently one used as a fixture in the Ute domestic economy, the squaws having to light the fire. The duty is mainly relegated to the females in several other Indian tribes, and among the Eskimo. Mr. Catlin says that the Sioux objected to letting the squaws have their portraits painted, saying that their women had never taken scalps, nor done anything better than make fires and dress skins.* The hearth and drill last figured are respectively 20 and 23 inches long, while in the hunting set (fig. 8) the length is 7 and 18 inches. The Wind River Shoshones are also represented (fig. 9). The hearth is of hard wood, rudely hacked out, and rounded. Upon the slanting edge are eight holes, or shallow depressions, prepared for the drill, with notches cut in to meet them from the sides. The drill is a willow branch, 25 inches long, with a hard wood head mortised in, and served with buckskin. It is most probable that sand was used with this set, because, if the parts are not models, it would be necessary to use it on sticks of equal hardness like these. I am inclined to believe that they are models, from their appearance, and from the difficulty of setting up a pyrogenic friction upon them even with sand. They were collected some fifteen years ago by Maj. J. W. Powell. The Mokis are the most differentiated members of the Shoshonian stock. Mrs. T. B. Stevenson collected the two excellent fire-making sets in the Museum from the Moki Pueblos. The hearth is a branch of the very best quality of soft wood. In one hearth an end has been broken off. but there still remain eighteen tire-holes, showing that it was in use for a long time and highly prized (fig. 10). The drill is a roughly dressed branch of hard wood. It is comparatively easy to make fire on this apparatus. In the set numbered 126,694 these conditions are reversed; the hearth is tolerably hard wood and the drill soft wood. The Moki fire-tools are used now principally in the estufas to light the sacred fiie and the new fire as do the Zuiiis, and the Aztecs of Mexico did hundreds of years ago. They use tinder of fungus or dried grass rubbed between the hands. By their language the Zuni people belong to a distinct stock of In- dians. Their fire-sticks are of the agave stalk, a soft, pithy wood with harder longitudinal fibers, rendering it a good medium for the pur- pose of making fire. 'Smithsonian Report. 1885. Pt. ii, p. 723.
Page:Firemaking Apparatus in the U.S. National Museum.djvu/14
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