Page:Firemaking Apparatus in the U.S. National Museum.djvu/36

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560 REPORT OF NATIONAL MUSEUM, 1888. ^:^ i («  hj^- Dr. Bessels, speaking of Itah Eskiinoof Foulke Fiord in Sniitli Sound, says : "The catkins of the arctic willow are used as tinder to catcli the sparks produced by grinding two pieces of stone. Also the widely diffused 'fire-drill' is found here; the spindle is held between a piece of bone and a fragment of semi- decayed wood, and is set in motion by the well-known bow. and is turned until the wood begins to ignite."* The "fire-bag" is an ac companiment to all sorts of fire- making apparatus. The fire bag shown (fig. 27, pi. Lxxv) was collected by Cai)tain Hall, at Holsteinberg, western Greenland in 1860. It is made of sealskin, and is a good specimen of the excellent needlework of these Eskimo. It was useil to carry, more especially, the tire- drill and tinder which require to be kept very dry. There is a wide gap in the collections of the Museum between the locality of the specimen just mentioned, and the fire hearth from the Mackenzie River (fig. 28). This specimen is from Fort Simpson presum- ably, where B. K. Koss collected. It is said to be difficult to discriminate the Eskimo from the Indian on the lower I W Mackenzie. This hearth may be Indian, as it has that appearance; besides, no Eskimo hearth yet observed has side holes and slots like this without the step. The Indians of this region are of the great Athapascan stock of the North. Tiie close resemblance of this stick to HUl^J the one from the Washoans of Nevada has been commented upon. (See fig. C, p. 537.) There is also a very fine old central- hole hearth from the Mackenzie River, collected also by Mr. Ross. It is a rough billet of branch wood, cut apparently with an axe, or hatchet (fig. 29). It is semi-decayed and worm eaten. It has ten central holes where fire has been made ; they are quite deep, forming a gutter in the middle of the hearth. There is, as can be seen, no need of a groove, as the dust falls over into the next hole, collects in a mass, and ignites. Fig. 28. LowKR Part of Fi UK -MAKING Set (on one end is gum for cement). (Cat. No. 1978, U. S. N. M. Kiver, B. C. Collected by B. R. Ross. )

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Leipzig. amerikauiscbe p. 358. Nordpol - Expedition. Fig. 29. Lower P a r t o f FiKK MAKixo Set. (Cat. No. 1963, V. .S. N. .M. Eskimo ol Mackenzie River, B. C. ColJecteJ by B. R. Ross, )