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Home > Books > Mason > North American Bows, Arrows and Quivers > Plate LVII
Plate LVII
Bird Bolts of Northwestern Eskimo

FIG. 1. SHAFT, of wood, and the head, of bone, or ivory, or antler, is set on like the head of a cane and rounded. In one of the examples the end of the shaft is split and the head is held in by a wedge-shaped dowel. Bird arrow. Length, about 21 inches.

Cat. NOB. 24579-80, U. S. N. M. Eskimo, St. Michaels, Alaska. Collected by Lucien Turner.

NOTE. -There is a great variety of these bird arrows used for the purpose of stunning water fowl. The shaft is a simple rod of different material, and the head is held on in various ways and seized with sinew.

FIG. 2. SHAFT, cylindrical. Shaftment, flattened. Feathers, three, held on with twisted sinew. Nock, flat; notch, U-shaped. The head is in the conventional form of the Eskimo bird arrowheads, fitted on to the wedge-shaped end of the shaft and seized with sinew. Length, 27 inches.

Cat. No. 72772, U. S. N. M. Point Barrow. Collected by Capt. P. H. Ray, U. S. Army.

FIGS. 3, 5. SHAFT, of spruce, cylindrical. Shaftment, flattened at the end. Feathers, three, seized with twisted sinew. Nock, flat; notch, angular. Head, of iron, in imitation of the standard Eskimo bird arrow, the head of which is a club-shaped piece of ivory or bone with notches cut in the end so as to give the shape of a cross in section. This is designed to wound the bird and bring him down without shedding his blood.

FIG. 4. Precisely similar to fig. 3, excepting that the head is of ivory, and there are only two feathers. Length of both arrows, 27 inches.

Cat. No. 1106, U.S. N.M. Eskimo, Mackenzie River. Collected by R. MacFarlane.

NOTE.-In some samples under this number the ivory or bone heads are ornamented with lines cut in. The shaft of the arrow is cut wedge-shaped, inserted into the long notch at the base of the bead, and nicely seized with sinew, which is laid on in a groove or countersink cut into the base of the bone head. The workman o ship of this arrow is excellent.

Plate LVII
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