Friday, November 27, 2009

Hide for Bow & Drill Socket


In a previous post I mentioned that the Mescalaro Apache of southwestern US and northern Mexico used the bow and drill fire making method, when the handdrill proved too difficult for some.  In a 1935 article, in the American Anthropologist, it was stated that no special set was made.  Even fighting bows were modified, when needed, to spin the drill.  Also, no special socket was used, simply a piece of rawhide or buckskin to protect the hand.  Using a piece of hide as the socket intrigued me.  We tend to get stuck in preconceived notions of how things must be to work  Traditionally, a socket being -  a piece of wood, rock, or bone with a depression in it for the top of the drill to ride in. I had a scrap of racoon rawhide, with the hair still on it.  Folded  into a thicker pad, I fired up the bow and drill.  The hide pad worked well, though the drill did start to abrade thru it.  A little freshly pulverized grass would have lubricated it and helped.  Another lesson in simplicity and primitive living skills.

3 comments:

Le Loup said...

Good post Mark, and you are right. The simplest of things but I had never thought of using rawhide. Once you break away from the traditional idea of a bearing, it opens up knew thoughts.
Many thanks for this post.
Regards, Le Loup.
http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com

Tim Noble said...

Amazing.

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