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The Quiver

When upon a prolonged hunt, Ishi carried as many as sixty arrows with him, though his quiver seldom contained more than a score. The extra arrows he kept covered with a skin and bound with buckskin thongs, and he carried them slung over his shoulder.

His quiver, now in the University Museum, was made from the skin of an otter, the fur side out, and the hair running upward. It measures 34 inches in length, 8 inches in width at the upper end, and 4 inches at the lower. The skin had been removed whole, save for an incision over the buttocks. The hind legs had been split and left dangling, while the fore legs were two sheaths of skin inverted within the quiver. The mouth was sewn with tendon, and the split tail served as a carrying strap. Four punctures in the animal's back showed where the toggles of a salmon spear had entered and had had exit, indicating its method of capture. A strip of buckskin was also stitched to the outlet of the quiver, and, running inside, was again stitched two-thirds of the way down. Its use seems to have been as a carrying strap.

Besides his arrows he carried his bow in the quiver, and slung all over the left shoulder. It was not easy to extract arrows from the quiver quickly, so it was customary to carry a few in the hand. These, during the act of shooting, Ishi either laid on the ground or held beneath his right arm. Owing to his peculiar method of shooting, this did not interfere when he drew his bow.