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Dishes - Indians had many types of dishes, or vessels for the preparation and serving of food.  They were made from stone, shell, ivory, horn, rawhide, bark, wood, pottery, and basketry.

Dishes, as a general rule, were not used to hold individual portions, for in most tribes Indians gathered around one large pot or dish and all ate from it.  But there were small dishes to hold salt and other seasonings and for a few delicate foods.  larger dishes usually held cooked corn or vegetables, and trays and platters were used for game and bread.

Wood was the most common article from which dishes were made.  For round dishes and drinking cups, burl wood, or knots on trees were utilized.  The Iroquois especially made fine dishes from burl wood.  The Plains Indians also made dishes from burl wood when they could get it, and they fashioned spoons from buffalo horn and made cooking pots from the stomachs of the buffalo and deer.  The Paiute used dishes made from the shell of the box turtle.  The Pima and Papago fashioned oblong trays and shallow platters from mesquite wood.  Most of the Pueblo tribes used pottery dishes.

Dishes of birch bark were made by Woodland tribes.  In the South, Indians made use of various types of gourds.  Southwestern and California Indians preferred basket type dishes.

Related Information within this Site
[ Bark Craft ][ Baskets ][ Buffalo ][ Deer ]
[ Horn and Bone Craft ][ Pottery ][ Rawhide ]