replaced stone and shell in the making of some jewelry. Women often wore their hair in braids and decorated it with a small cap or band of shells. Men usually went bareheaded in order to show off their hair. They wore their hair in a variety of styles, depending on the individual taste. Hair for the Algonquians, as for other Native Americans, was a symbol of selfhood and strength.
Other Arts and Crafts The discussions of food, shelter, transportation, and clothing have shown the wide range of Algonquian technology. The Algonquians, like other Native Americans, ingeniously used the materials at hand to shape tools, weapons, and other ceremonial objects. They used wood and bark, other plant materials, stone, clay, hide, bone, antler, shells, quills, and feathers for their artifacts. And some Great Lakes Algonquians used copper to make metal objects. After the arrival of the Europeans, the Indians adapted their crafts to new materials, using metals, glass beads, and strips of cloth in original ways. The Algonquian use of a variety of materials to make containers shows the extent of their ingenuity. Some Algonquians favored birch bark. Some of these birch-bark containers, like the mocuck , were watertight, their seams smeared with pitch, and were used for carrying and storing water. Others were used as bowls, dishes, and trays, or for winnowing (separating chaff from grain) wild rice. Algonquians also carved containers out of wood. The burls or knots of birch, elm, and maple, or some other hardwood, were charred in a fire to soften for scraping with stone or bone tools. Wood was also used to make the mortars and pestles needed for grinding corn. Wood splints and sweet grass were utilized in basketry, the wood splints to make plaited baskets and the sweet grass to make coiled baskets. Pottery was also used to make containers for cooking, carrying, and storing. Although Algonquians in the Northeast did not develop techniques in ceramics to the extent that Indians of the Southeast and Southwest did, some tribes crafted pottery containers for cooking, carrying, and storing. Algonquians had one main practical design: elongated clay pots for cooking with rounded or pointed bottoms and a neck at the top. They shaped the clay into pots without a potter's wheel, then smoothed the outside with a cord-wrapped paddle before firing. The pots were unpainted but had geometric designs from tapping, pressing, or scratching objects into the clay either before or after firing. Algonquians applied the same sort of ingenuity to the making of weapons for hunting and warfare. They used wood, stone, bone, and after non-Indians began to trade with them, metal, to make spears, clubs, and bows and arrows. Some among them also used wood for armor and shields. Both the eastern Algonquians and neighboring Iroquois used wampum for ceremonial purposes.
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 8 pages?
- Fall '15
- History, Great Lakes, Algonquian languages, Algonquian peoples, Algonquians, Subarctic Algonquians