[ExI] Assimilated, chipping arrowheads and a bit of history.

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Tue Jul 14 08:03:47 UTC 2020

I worked with two Native Americans when I was in the geophysics business.

Both were as far as I knew, completely assimilated into main culture
(as it existed back in the middle 1960s).  You get to know fellow
workers fairly well on remote jobs.

I have sometimes wondered what became of George, a Papago.  He was
sharp, and the skinniest Papago I ever saw.

I can't pull up the name of the other one who might have been
Cherokee.  He made thousands of arrowheads for the tourist trade when
he was younger (they are easier to make than to find).  I am sure he
didn't make them out in the hot sun and I really doubt that was common
for any of the Native American specialists who made arrowheads.

The way he did it used an alcohol lamp, a laboratory clamp to hold a
lump of flint or glass, and a wet pipe cleaner.  Touching the hot
flint with the wet pipe cleaner caused a small piece to spall off.  I
seem to remember that he could turn out 30 or 40 an hour.  I have
never looked up manufacturing arrowheads, but it would not surprise me
if something similar was widely known.

I know very little about the Boy Scouts, I knew a few of them when I
was of that age and they did not impress me as kids I wanted to be
around. (My brother was in Cub Scouts but did not go further.)  But I
wonder if they teach chipping out arrowheads?  You don't even need
flint, glass works just fine.  All you would need to add is safety

By the mid 1800s, the natives who were still fighting had switched to
rifles. They tended to be good shots.  Joseph Dyson, one of my GG
grandfathers was a member of the Nebraska Cavalry.  He was shot and
killed in June 1863 by Sioux Indians on the Pawnee Reservation, north
of Omaha in eastern Nebraska.  My G grandfather was also in the
Nebraska Cavalry.  He survived the Civil War and died at 85 in 1910.


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