Page:Firemaking Apparatus in the U.S. National Museum.djvu/34

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558 Eskimo in other localities often use such makeshifts. Cup cavities are often observed in the handles of knives and other bone and ivory tools where they have used them for heads or the tire-drill. Cumberland Gulf is the next locality to the northward. There are several specimens in the collection from this part of Baffin Land, pro- cured by the famous explorer, Captain Hall, and the less known, but equally indefatigable Kumlein. The fire-making impleyients from Cumberland Gulf have a markedly different appearance from those of any other locality in the Eskimo area. They have a crude look, and there is a paucity of ornamention unusual among this people. The drill bow is one of the things which the Eskimo usually decorates, but these bows have not even a scratch. It can be inferred that in Baffin Land, more unfavorable conditions prevail than in southern Alaska. It must be this cause coupled with poor food supply, that have conspired to make them the most wretched of the Eskimo. The hearth (tig. 21, pi. Lxxivj is of drift oak. It was collected at Ero- bisher Bay by Capt. Charles F. Hall. It has central holes, and ai)pears to be very unfavorable wood for tire-making. The block heartli is also from Frobisher Bay (fig. 22, pi. Lxxiv). It is an old piece of hemlock, with two central communicating holes. The mouth-i)iece is a block of ivory. Another mouth-])iece is a bit of hard wood soaked in oil ; it was used with a bone drill having an iron point. A very small, rude bow goes with this set (fig. 24). Our knowledge of eastern Greenland has been very much increased by the explorations of Holm and Garde, who reached a village on the east coast never before visited by a white man. Extensive col- C^_,^^ ^,,x-'-'"'~fL_.__-----'-^ ( lections were made, both of ij ^3>y information and specimens. In reference to fire-making, Mr. Holm reports : "They make iire by turning a hard stick, of which the socket end is dipped in train oil, very rapidly around by means of a sealskin thong with handles. This stick is fixed at one end into a head set with bone, and the other end is pressed down into a cavity on the lower piece of wood (fig. 25). Therefore there must be two persons in order to make a fire. One turns the drill with the cord, while tho other presses it down on the hearth ; both support the block with their feet. As soon as the dust begins to burn they fan it with the hand. When it is ignited, they take it and put it into dried moss (sjyhagnnm), blow it, and soon get a blaze. In this way they make a tire in an incredibly short time."*

  • Danish Umiak Expedition to Eastern Greenland, 186S. p. 28. Plate xiv contains

the figure. FifT 25. FiUE-MAKlNG Set. (Angmagsalik Eskimo, E. Greenland. Copieil from G. Holm's Ethnologisk. af AnBinagsi.likerne, 1887. )