BONE AWL*

Physical Development, Science (Anthropology), Social Studies

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Using a finished awl to split inner plant fibers away for making cordage.

Materials

  • Deer Cannon Bone, Cut in Half Lengthwise and Crosswise
  • Electric Sander (optional)
  • Electric Sander
  • Horsetails (Equisetum sp.), Dried
  • Knife
  • Toothbrush

Methods


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Use a knife to remove some dried soft tissue.


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Fine cleaning with water and a toothbrush.

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Using an electric sander helps get sharpening quickly under way.


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Scrape on a rock to sharpen the bone into a point.

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Rub the dried horsetails onto the awl as the last part of the process. The silica acts like a sandpaper as the horsetail falls apart.

NOTE: HORSETAIL SILICA CAN BE IRRITATING TO THE LUNGS. USE OUTDOORS, TAKING CARE NOT TO INHALE.


We used our awls to aid in pushing fibers through dried tules for making a doll-size sleeping mat.

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by Heather Taylor, heather@teachoutside.org

*This was taught to me by Dino Labiste, a Naturalist with the East Bay Regional Parks District in a class entitled, "Ohlone Tools and Games for Your Classroom."