Page:Firemaking Apparatus in the U.S. National Museum.djvu/8

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169
REPORT OF NATIONAL MUSEUM, 1888.

to keep up a coutinuous motion, as will be noted in the use of the Aino drill (p. 551).
 For tinder, the bark of the arbor vitæ was used. It is finely frayed, and is much improved by being slightly charred. They also use, preferably, a tinder made from a fungus, because it is "quicker," i. e., ignites more readily than the frayed bark.
 The hearth is squared and measures 23 inches; the drill is of equal length.
 Going southward from Sitka the next fire-making set in the series is from Bella-Bella, British Columbia. These Indians are of the Salishan stock, and are called Bilhulas. The horizontal is a piece of cedar wood dressed square on three faces. It is apparently a piece of an oar or spear handle. The fire holes are shallow, and the fire slots are quite narrow (fig. 2). The drills have been scored longitudinally near the rubbing end; this may be a device to cause the wood to wear away more rapidly, and furnish fuel to the incipient fire. Fire has evidently been made with this set. Both parts are 1 1/2 feet long; the drill is much thinner than that of Sitka. The tinder is of frayed cedar bark.
 From a southern family of the Salishan stock, called the Quinaielt Indians, of Washington Territory, the museum has a complete set collected by the late Charles Willoughby. It consists of a hearth, two drills, and a slow-match. The hearth is a rounded piece of cedar wood; opposite the fire-holes it is dressed flat, so as to rest firmly on the ground. There are three fire-holes with wide notches. The drills taper to each end, that is, are larger in the middle (fig. 3). The powder, a fine brown dust, collects at the junction of the slot and tire-hole, where they form a lip and there readily ignites. This side of the hearth is semi-decayed. No doubt the slots were cut in that side for the purpose of utilizing this quality. The drills are bulged toward the middle, thereby rendering it possible to give great pressure and at the same time rapid rotation without allowing the hands to slip down too rapidly, a fault in many fire drills. The slow-match is of frayed cedar bark, about a yard long, folded squarely together, and used section by section. Mr. Willoughby says:
 The stick with three cavities was placed upon the ground, the Indian kneeling and placing a knee upon each end. He placed one end of the smaller stick in one of the cavities, and, holding the other end between the palms of his hands, kept up a rapid half-rotary motion, causing an amount of friction sufficient to produce fire. With this he lighted the end of the braided slow-match of cedar bark. This was often earned for weeks thus ignited and held carefully beneath the blanket to protect it from wind and rain.
 Fire is easily procured with this set. It takes but a slight effort to cause a wreath of aromatic smoke to curl up, and the friction easily grinds off a dark powder, which collects between the edges of the slot. When this ignites it drops down the slot in a little pellet, and falls upon the tinder placed below to receive it. Both drill and hearth are 18 inches long.