Native American Tools and Weapons by Rob Staeger

Native American Tools and Weapons by Rob Staeger

Author:Rob Staeger
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Native American Tools and Weapons
ISBN: 9781422288641
Publisher: National Highlights Inc
Published: 2014-07-19T16:00:00+00:00

The kayak was made by stretching sealskin over a frame pieced together with driftwood and antlers. The boat’s pilot would fit into a small hole that pressed tight against his body. This kept water out of the craft. The sealskin was kept waterproof by regularly treating it with animal oils.

The kayak was light enough for one man to carry. This made it perfect for traveling overland as well as through the water. A skilled kayaker could paddle around seven miles per hour, even in rough water.

Unlike the kayak, an umiak is an open boat. Umiaks can be up to 30 feet long and can carry more than a ton of weight. Umiaks were used to hunt whales and walrus—prey that needed a group of men to be subdued. Umiaks are covered in hides. These hides are nearly as tough as wood, but they are more pliable. A wooden boat might break if it hit an ice floe. With the hide covering, there is less chance of serious damage if this happens.

In the frozen Arctic, natural resources are scarce, as it is too cold for trees to grow. The people of this region used every last scrap of what they had to survive. Their only source of wood was driftwood from the south. Arctic tools were made of stone, bone, or driftwood. It didn’t matter what material was best for each tool. When someone needed an axe, he used what was handy to make one.

Like people in other regions, Arctic tribes used bows and arrows. Their bows were antler and driftwood lashed together with sinew. They would be backed with sealskin and braids of caribou sinew for strength. Their arrows were usually tipped with bone.


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