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Horn and Bone Craft - Many of the Indian's most useful and decorative implements and objects were made from horn and bone and related material from birds and animals.

Horn was the most easily worked because when heated it could be flattened and made into any shape desired.  Two pieces could be welded by first heating them and then pressing them firmly together.  Horn was made into spoons, ladles, dishes, and containers.

From bone the Indian made tools, arrow and spear heads, knives, buttons, and many other useful items.  Antlers, which were bone and not horn, were fashioned into bows, flaking tools, and awls.  Some of the larger and flatter bones of animals were used as hoes by the farming Indians.  The wing bones of certain birds were used as whistles, and were thought to produce the same note as the bird's cry.

The hoofs and dewclaws of animals and the shells of turtles were made into rattles.  Beaks of birds were used for decoration; teeth of bears for necklaces; and elk teeth were sewed on buckskin clothing.  

The Indian had only crude stone tools to fashion his bone and horn articles.


Related Information within this Site
[ Arrow ][ Bow ][ Costume ][ Deer ][ Dishes ]