NativeTech: Native American Technology & Art

Scenes from the Eastern Woodlands
A Virtual Tour ~ Circa 1550

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Making our stone tools ...
You will see us sitting on a tree that a beaver has recently felled by the pond near our houses. Here we are chipping stones such as nodules of flint and chert, or blocks of quartz and quartzite. We are lucky to have traded some beaver hides for some pieces of red jasper that some neighboring peoples obtained from others who live far away and over the mountain range.

We are using our river cobble hammer-stones to roughly chip out the shapes of our knives, arrow points and scraping tools. When we have the basic shape of our tool, then we use heavy moose antler billets to evenly flake around the edges. When the tool is nearly finished, then we use antler tines and pointed bones to pressure flake the tool so that it is perfect and sharp.

Sometimes when a tool becomes dull from use, we need to sharpen it by chipping a fresh new edge. It is a shame when a fine tool has been re-sharpened so many times that it becomes too small to re-work again. When we need new tools, or when the stone is near, we can always go back to our regional bedrock quarries. When we're unable to travel, we can find water-worn stone cobbles in our local stream beds. These cobbles often make a good raw material with which to make our tools.

Making our stone tools ...
This series is now available as a soft-cover book:
"Woodland Windows," with expanded descriptive
text and additional resource materials

These scenes are also available as
Fine Art Note Cards

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© 1994 - Tara Prindle
unless otherwise cited.