Fire-Drill — Koskimo

Fire-Drill — Koskimo

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From Edward Curtis’ Field Notes:

“Fire was obtained by means of the drill, of which the spindle was fashioned from a fir branch that had hardened by lying long in water, and the base from very old, dry cedar wood. The spark was caught in yellow cedar bark floss. While twisting the spindle between his palms the fire-maker looked not at the wood but upward, and kept repeating, ‘Please come, fire!’ The drill was seldom used, as fire was constantly burning in some house of a village, and moving parties carried fire by coiling in a box a long twisted rope of old matting or of cedar bark and letting the smoldering end hang over the edge of the receptacle.” – Edward Curtis

The North American Indian, Volume 10, The Kwakiutl, 1915. Portfolio plate no. 349.

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