INDIAN UTENSILS AND TOOLS
THEY have pots and kettles made of clay, and
fashioned much like our own, save that the vessels have
a rough surface, are very thin, and so soft that one
can cut them with a knife.
These Indians make bread of meal from corn, and
 the grinding is done in mortars made by cutting a
hollow in a smooth rock. Just fancy trying to scoop
out the middle of a huge piece of stone by rubbing it
with other stones!
I have not been
able to learn how
much time it is
necessary to spend
in making one of
these mortars, but
verily I should say a whole life might be spent
before the task was finished.
It surely is astonishing to see the many articles
which these brown men have made of stone, and with
no other means of fashioning them save by rubbing
one rock against another. Their arrow heads are of
flint, and worked into shape by chipping off tiny pieces
with a yet larger piece of flint, until a bit shaped like
a spear head, no more than one inch long and a quarter
inch thick, has been made.
Their hatchets are clumsy affairs, and I do not
wonder that they are eager to trade with us for tools of
iron. I have seen again and again stones shaped like
a wedge, with notches on the biggest end, in which
was fastened a split stick for a handle, and bound
on with rope made from a kind of wild hemp which
grows hereabout in great quantity.
 The Indian women make this wild hemp into twine
or rope by twisting the fibers between their hands,
working it smooth around the trunk of a tree, and then
they color it red, yellow, or black.
Perhaps you will ask how, with hatchets of stone
such as I have described, the savages can cut down a
tree. They build a fire
around the roots of
whatever tree is to be
cut down, and with a
swab made of wild
hemp, keep the upper
portion of the trunk
wet, so the blaze will
not go above the circle
they count on cutting.
When the flames have
eaten into the wood a
certain distance, the
charred part is scraped
away with flint stones
or shells, and again
is the fire applied, the workmen scraping and burning
until the tree has been cut completely through.
In the same way do they make the big boats; but, of
course, in this case it is necessary to cut the tree to
form the length, and then the log is hollowed by fire
 and by scraping, until it is a shell no more than an
inch in thickness.
I have heard it said that two Indians, working ten
full days, can make one of these big boats, which' look
so clumsy, but are handled with such ease even in
swiftly running water.