You are here

قراءة كتاب Throwing-sticks in the National Museum Third Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1883-'84, Government Printing Office, Washington, 1890, pages 279-289

تنويه: تعرض هنا نبذة من اول ١٠ صفحات فقط من الكتاب الالكتروني، لقراءة الكتاب كاملا اضغط على الزر “اشتر الآن"

‏اللغة: English
Throwing-sticks in the National Museum
Third Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1883-'84, Government Printing Office, Washington, 1890, pages 279-289

Throwing-sticks in the National Museum Third Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1883-'84, Government Printing Office, Washington, 1890, pages 279-289

No votes yet
دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 3

characteristic because it occurs here for the first time and will not be seen again after we pass Cape Vancouver. From Ungava to Point Barrow the index-finger hole is eccentric and the finger passes quite through the implement and to the right of the harpoon or spear-shaft. In the Kotzebue type the index finger cavity is subjacent to the spear-shaft groove, consequently the forefinger would be wounded or at least in the way by passing through the stick. The spear or harpoon-shaft groove is wide and shallow and passes immediately over the index cavity. The hook is of ivory and stands up above the wood. It needs only to be mentioned that this type, as well as those with eccentric forefinger perforations are used with the naked hand.

In the quarto volume of Beechey's Voyage, page 324, is mentioned a throwing-stick from Eschscholtz Bay, with a hole for the forefinger and a notch for the thumb, the spear being placed in the groove and embraced by the middle finger and the thumb. This last assertion is very important. When I first began to examine a large number of the implements, I could not explain the cavities for the finger-tips until this note suggested that the shaft rides outside of and not under the fingers. To test the matter I had a throwing-stick made to fit my hand, and found that the spear could get no start if clamped close to the throwing-stick by all the fingers; but if allowed to rest on the back of the fingers or a part of them, and it is held fast, by the thumb and middle finger, it had just that small rise which gave it a start from the propelling instrument.

In the national collection is a specimen marked Russian America, collected by Commodore John Rodgers, resembling in many respects the Kotzebue Sound type. The handle is of the same razor-strop shape, but on the upper side are three deep depressions for the finger-tips. In several of the objects already described provision is made for the tips of the last three fingers by means of a gutter or slight indentations. But in no other examples is there such pronounced separation of the fingers. In very many of the Norton Sound skin-dressers, composed of a stone blade and ivory handle, the fingers are separated in exactly the same manner. These skin-dressers are from the area just south of Kotzebue Sound. The back of the Rodgers specimen is ornamented in its lower half by means of grooves. In its upper half are represented the legs and feet of some animal carved out in a graceful manner. The index-finger cavity is central and is seen on the upper side by a very slight rectangular perforation, which, however, does not admit the extrusion of any part of the index-finger. The upper surface is formed by two inclined planes meeting in the center. Along this central ridge is excavated the groove for the spear-shaft, deep at its lower end and quite running out at its upper extremity. The hook for the end of the harpoon-shaft in this specimen resembles that seen on the throwing-sticks of the region south of Cape Vancouver. The whole execution of this specimen is so much superior to that of any other in the Museum and the material so different as to create the suspicion that it was made by a white man, with steel tools (Fig 8).


The National Museum has no throwing-stick from this region, but Nordenskjöld figures one in the Voyage of Vega (p. 477, Fig. 5), which is as simple as the one from Anderson River, excepting that the former has a hook of ivory, while the latter has a mere excavation to receive the cavity on the end of the weapon. Nordenskjöld's bird-spear accompanying the stick has a bulb or enlargement of the shaft at the point opposite the handle of the throwing-stick, which is new to the collection of the National Museum. Indeed, a systematic study should now be made of the Siberian throwing-sticks to decide concerning the commercial relationships if not the consanguinities of the people of that region.


The specimens from this area are more or less spatulate in form, but very irregular, with the handle varying from that of the razor-strop to the spiral, twisted form of the Eskimo skin-scraper (Fig. 9). On the whole, these implements are quite similar to the next group. A section across the middle of the implement would be trapezoidal with incurved sides. In two of the specimens not figured these curved sides are brought upward until they join the upper surface, making a graceful ornament. The handles are not symmetrical, the sides for the thumb being shaved out so as to fit the muscles conveniently. Places for the fingers are provided thus: There is an index-finger cavity quite through the stick indeed, but the index-finger catches in the interior of the wood and does not pass through as in the eastern Arctic types. The middle finger rests against an ivory or wooden peg. This is the first appearance of this feature. It will be noted after this on all the throwing-sticks as the most prominent feature until we come to Kadiak, but the Unalashkans do not use it on their throwing-sticks. Cavities for the three last finger-tips are not always present, and the hooks at the distal ends for the extremities of the weapons are very large plugs of wood or ivory and have beveled edges rather than points for the reception of the butt end of the weapon to be thrown.


These types extend from Cape Darby around to Cape Dyer, including part of Kaviagmut, the Mahlemut, the Unaligmut, and the Ekogmut area of Dall, and extending up the Yukon River as far as the Eskimo, who use this weapon. The characteristics are the same as those of the last named area, excepting that in many specimens there are two finger-pegs instead of one, the first peg inclosing the middle finger, the second the ring-finger and the little finger (Figs. 10-13). A single specimen collected by Lucien Turner at Saint Michael's has no index cavity, the forefinger resting on the first peg and the other three fingers passing between this and the outer peg (Fig. 14). Another specimen of Nelson's, marked Sabotinsky, has the index-finger cavity and one finger-peg. The finger-tip cavity on the upper surface of the handle forms the figure of a water-bird, in which the heart is connected with the mouth by a curved line, just as in the pictography of the more southern Indians.

The Yukon River Eskimo use a throwing-stick quite similar to the Norton Sound type. The characteristics are very pronounced. Thumb-groove deep, index-finger cavity so long as to include the first joint. The hook for the spear-end formed by the edge of a plug of hard wood. The middle finger is separated by a deep groove and peg. The ring and little finger are inclosed by the peg and a sharp projection at the upper end of the handle.


In this region a great change comes over the throwing-stick, just as though it had been stopped by Cape Romanzoff, or new game had called for modification, or a mixing of new peoples had modified their tools (Figs. 15-17). The index-finger cavity and the hole for the index finger are here dropped entirely, after extending from Greenland uninterruptedly to Cape Romanzoff. The handle is conspicuously wide, while the body of the implement is very slender and light. The thumb-groove is usually chamfered out very thoroughly so as to fit the flexor muscle conveniently. There are frequently finger-grooves and finger-tip cavities in addition to the pegs. The cavity for the index finger having disappeared, provision is made for that important part of the hand by a separate peg and groove. The middle finger is also pegged off, and the last two fingers have to shift for themselves. The hook for the shaft of the weapon has a fine point like a little bead, the whole implement being adapted to the light