Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Arrowheads

Both Hubby and I have a great interest in Native Americana. His interest comes from the fact that he is Cherokee and mine because I grew up in the Four Corners region of the Southwest. We have pottery, baskets, kachina dolls, and in-numerous books. Today I'll share with you our arrowhead collection.


Let me begin with a little background - Hubby's great-grandfather (fondly called Daddy Bill) was a rock hound. He was born in the 1890s and worked at various mines in the western US in his early years. He came across quite a few unique specimens. (more on those later) After he was married, he and his wife would search for rocks, fossils or arrowheads on their many vacations. Our collection is the fruit of their efforts.


Most of the collection was found in Oklahoma, which is where Daddy Bill was from. But quite a few came from the buttes outside the eastern Colorado town where they lived. Early Americans would sit upon the buttes watching for buffalo or antelope and while waiting, they would make arrowheads or spear points or bird points.


I am impressed with the precision with which these rock tools were made. The patience and skill required to make just one arrowhead, called flintknapping, awes me. Here is a video that shows some of the techniques involved. It's a bit long but fun to see the point take shape.



The type of rock used for the point, as well as for the knapping tool, varied depending on the section of the country. And there are various types of points, usually named after the area found or the time frame in which they were made - Clovis, Folsom, Plainview. There are quite a few videos on youtube about flintknapping and a wealth of information on the web - just Google the term flintknapping. Let me know if you would like more information and if you should decide to try it yourself, please let me know & I will show off your points!

7 comments:

Pixie said...

Love this post! My sister is a big collector and has inherited alot of what our great grandpa plowed up inhis fields in South Texas.

another note: I used to live in Covis, NM, where the Clovis point gets it's name AND I wrote my archeology research paper on the Covis vs. Older controversy. Good stuff.

Hope these days are good ones for you in Arkansas...

Jeanne said...

Oh, how fun! I would like to read your research paper - I'm sure it is interesting! Did you ever go looking for Clovis points while living there?

Who's that Gamine? said...

Beautiful collection!

MG

whosthatgamine.blogspot.com

Debra She Who Seeks said...

What a wonderful collection -- so much history!

The Frog Queen said...

Wow, what a great collection and beautifully displayed.

Thanks for sharing.

Cheers!

Bridgett said...

Wow! Just look at all of them! That is seriously an impressive collection!

Pixie said...

No, I didn't look for any..but I think my FIL did. Sadly, my research paper is long gone..along with some other stuff that went missing in my last move! Darnit!