Friday, August 15, 2008

Fire Plow

Was playing around with the fireplow this morning. This was a fire-making technic used in SE Asia, some of the Pacific islands, and a historical account recorded of use by the Iroquois Indians of New York state. Basically, a wedge-pointed 'plow' is worked back & forth in a 6-inch long groove of the 'fire board.' As you 'plow', fibers build up at the end of the groove. The heat from the friction builds and ignites the fibers into a smoldering coal. This is placed into a tinder nest and blown into flame. I am using a sotol stalk and plow in the picture, but also have had success with a yucca plow on cottonwood. When the fire gods smile upon me >grin< I can usually get a hot coal in 10 -15 seconds. This is a whole new set of muscles being exercised here to do the quick, short strokes necessary with some force. Already a sheen a sweat is visible on my forearms in the heat and humidity of the morning....ahhh, "Nebraska, the good life".


Mila said...


I've been enjoying your blog, keep it up.

Will we be seeing you at the Artifact Show or BCVIII?


Mark said...

SCOOTER! Long time no see. Yes, I will be at the Nebraska Stone Age Fair next Saturday. I hear Rick has his 10-year DVD plant project done. Not as sure making Beaver Creek Primitive Skills/Knap-In...that always conflicts with a family event. Though the date is changed..I'll have to check.

Fenlander said...

I have had a couple of attempts with the fire plough without success but will give it another go now. Good stuff Mark.