Page:Firemaking Apparatus in the U.S. National Museum.djvu/40

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562 REPORT OF NATIONAL MUSEUM, 1888. use. A bunch of willow twigs, the down of which is used as tinder, is also shown (fig. 31). This set is especially interesting, because it shows the degeneration of an art. The fire-drill is so rarely used at Point Barrow, Mr. John Murdoch says, that it was not pos- sible to get a full set devoted to that purpose. Those here shown are a make-shift. The method only survives by the conservatism of a few old men of the tribe, who still cling to old usages. One of these made the drill for Lieutenant Kay, telling him that it w^as the kind used in old times. It seems primi- tive enough *, the knuckle-bone might well have been the first mouth-piece. The Eskimo farther east sometimes use a fish vertebra for the same purpose; one froni the Anderson River has this. The cord without handles is undoubtedly the earliest form also. The small wooden and bone mouth-pieces of the Eskimo east of Point Barrow to Cumberland Gulf seem to be copies of the deer knuckle-bone. Another primitive adaptation is found in an Anderson Kiver bow, which is made of the fibula of a deer (see fig. 30). The fire making drill collected from the Chukchis by the Vega ex- pedition in the Cai)e Wankerem re- gion, in northeastern Siberia, about the same latitude as Point Bar- row, is figured in Nordenskiold's Report.* It is worked by a bow, and the drill turns in a mouth- ])iece of a deer astragalus like the Point Barrow specimen. The block lias central holes, with short grooves running into each one. Nordenskiold's description of the manner of making fire is very de- ^^Jl^ Fig. 31. FniK-MAKiNo Set (witli luoulhpiece of detr's kiiMckle-boue, tbong, aud tiuder of willow cat- kin.-') (Ckt, No. 89822. U. S. N. M. Eskimo of Point Barrow, Al;i«ku. Collected by Lieut. P. H. Bay, V. S. A. )

  • Nor(leiiskiold.— Voyage of tbe Vega.

London, 1881. ii, 121, 122.