Page:Firemaking Apparatus in the U.S. National Museum.djvu/57

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I PIRE-MAKING APPARATUS.

II.~F1RE-MAKING BY SAWING. Prof. Alfred Russel Wallace has noted the method by sawing in his work entitled "The Malay Archipelago," p. 332: Two pieces of bamboo are used ; a shar[) edge piece like a knife is rubbed across a convex piece in which a notch is cut, nearly severing the bamboo (tig. 42); after sawing across for awhile the bamboo is pierced, and the heated particles fall below and ignite. The Ternate Malays and the Tungaras of British North Borneo* have improved upon this by striking a piece of china with tinder held with it against the outside of a piece of bamboo, the siliceous coating of the latter yielding a spark like flint. Both of the methods mentioned are in use at different points iu the area affected by Malay influence. The Chittagong hill tribes, on the eastern frontier of British India, use sand on the saiwing knife to increase the friction. t The Karens of Burma, Dr. K. M. Luther informs the writer, hollow out a branch of the Bipterocarpus tree like the lower piece of bamboo spoken of, cut a transverse notch, and saw across in it with a rubber of iron-wood. The wood fibers ground off form the tinder; the coal is wrapped ui) in a dry leaf and swung around the head till it blazes. It takes only two or three minutes to get a blaze this way. Bearing upon the origin of this method of sawing in these localities, nature is alleged to suggest the way and to repeat the process that would give to fireless man the hint. Mr. W. T. Hornaday relates that many fires are started iu the jungle by bamboo rubbing together in a high wind-storm. The creak- ing is indescribable; the noise of the rasping and grinding of the horny stems is almost unendurable. In many tribes itis found thatoften there is more than one method of fire making practiced. For in- stance, in Borneo, as we have seen, the Tungaras use the sawing method, the Saribus Dyaks the besiapi, or fire syringe, a most interesting fact, J other Dyaks the rotary drill, § while the Rev. Dr. Taylor says that the Dyaks are acquainted with the use of the bow and string and the upright stick and cord ([)ump drill). In connection with all these methods probably flint and steel were used.

  • D. D. Daly.— Proc. Roy. Geog. Soc. 1888. p. 10.

t Ciipt. T. H. Lewis.— Hill tribes of Chittagong. Calcutta, 1801). p. 83. t The American Anthropologist. Washington, 1888, i. No. 3, p. '2). ^ J. G. Wood. — The Natural History of Man. ii, p. 502. Fig. 42. Malay Fire Sticks. (Oat. No. 129775, U. 8. N. M. McxIelH in buinboo m:iili> by Mr. HoURh after IVof. A. K. VVi.1- lai-e'» desi-nptioii. The Malay Archipelago, p. 332.)