More Replicas of Bone Tool Artifacts

The following replicas were made using authentic materials, methods, and tools.

Tools from Deer Ribs
The natural curvature of a deer rib made this bone ideal for making matting needles. Cattail mats were used extensively by Eastern Woodland nations. Simple grooving of a rib gives us a musical rasp.

Hairpins from Deer Splinter Bone
By working splinters of long bone with sandstone, "scraps" of bone were turned into lovely women's hair articles. The long bone was probably smashed with a hammer stone to get at the marrow. The refuse from the meal was then subsequently used.

Hair Comb from Deer Bone
I made my replica pictured above of the fantastic original piece from bone. The original was made of antler. Those objecting to the price one sees for authentic antler reproductions by Native American artists have never tried to work antler or obtain this level of beauty and detail in a bone or antler object.

Games of Chance Pieces
The First Peoples played various games of chance using dice-like pieces often made of bone.

Scapula Squash Knife
Squash, one of the "three sisters" (corn, beans, and squash) , was an important domesticated vegetable. Simple knives worked from deer scapulas were quite utilitarian.

Necklace of Various Bone
Deer teeth drilled with flint drills and bird bone cut into hollow sections with flint chips made an attractive necklace when strung on a piece of sinew.

Hair was scrapped from the deer's hide prior to tanning using a beamer like this.

Antler Items
Antler is a very hard substance and a bit difficult to work. Antler tips were sometimes sharpened and drilled out for arrowheads. Antler was also used to make flaking tools used in flintknapping as shown in the reproduced artifact above the arrow point.

click here to go to a downloadable PDF file of a poster showing the deer bones used to make various bone tools.

Susan K. Nelson has a Master of Arts degree in Archaeology Education from the McGregor School at Antioch University.

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