With a proud history and a sophisticated civilization, the Anasazi people hold a special place in Native American history. They were referred to by their descendants as "the ancient ones" and were seen as the keepers and cultivators of knowledge. The Anasazi used a variety of tools and implements that they developed themselves, and their talents for crafts, building, hunting and cultivation are still appreciated today.
The Anasazi's favorite hunting tools were the spear and the bow and arrow. They made these weapons using basic materials like wood and sinew. The spear dates back almost 20,000 years, but the bow and arrow have only been in use for about 1,500 years. It is constructed with the same materials as the spear but with the addition of stone for the sharp arrowhead. Snares and nets were also included in the Anasazi hunting arsenal.
Weaving and Sewing
The Anasazi, also known as the "basket makers," are famous among anthropologists for their basket-weaving techniques. Weaving and sewing tools were used extensively by the the Anasazi people in most facets of their everyday lives. They utilized drop spindles (a wooden shaft on a pottery disc) and looms to weave fibers made from cotton and yucca. A long, wide wooden stick called a "batten" was used to separate lines of yarn during the weaving process. Sewing needs were made from animal bones.
Although the Anasazi started to form and fire pottery later than some of their contemporaries, the results were very impressive. Besides the kiln used to fire the pottery, other tools included scrapers that they made using broken pottery bits, wood or pieces of shell. They used brushes to embellish the finished product. The black-and-white designs and gray textured pottery are still produced in the present day.
Cooking and Food Preparation
The Anasazi used a number of different tools for starting fires and preparing food to be cooked or eaten. For example, they spun short tapered sticks or small wooden drills in a shallow hole in another piece of wood to start a fire. A "metate," a large, flat stone, was used with a smaller stone, or "mano," to grind grains like corn. Bowls, pots and cups were made from pottery and were used to serve, store or prepare food. Tightly woven baskets were also used for this purpose.
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