Howdy folks, Here are a few of my finds from my California wanderings. Mostly post whiteman contact stuff but the Miwok material is from a site I was able to dig on a private ranch owned by a buddy of mine. Thanks for looking.....Mel
Miwok dig finds. Shell beads mainly from Pismo Clam in various stages of construction and five Pomo Gold magnesite beads from a pithouse floor:
Chumash stuff of shell, steatite, fish vertebrae, bird bone, and European trade beds of glass.
Chumash bone stuff. Long brown one is a fish spear tine from a sea otter penis bone. Also punches and toggle fishhook parts:
And finally. Stuff from a historic Paiute camp on a city lot by Owens Lake, Calif. Musket and pistol balls and caps, trade beads, shell beads from way out on the coast and a single flaked stone drill.
Nice assortment of materials, enjoyed seeing them. I have alot of the same trade beads from the N. Ca. site I mentioned before. They came fron Venice, Italy, and Paris, France (the round porcelin whites from Venice, and most of the colored facited glass ones from Paris). As the settlers traded them, the indians went nuts over them, especialy the reds,yellows, and blues. When word got back to the source how succesful the trading was, they made a larger special Brilliant Red and Yellow stripped bead intended for Tribal Chiefs and Elders of importance, and are suposed to be among the most valueable of the Hudson spectrum. The beads were often strung with bone hair-pipe beads for breast plate and gorgete apparil. The trading of these beads was not restricked to Ca. during gold rush times either, as these beads have shown up in many other pacific western state cultural sites. I have read alot about them, only to wish that more had been written, as it is apparent that the indians traded them to other cultures, and those trade routes/ lines are unclear at best. When I use to dig for them, we would take burlap bags and simply shovel load up the bags. The hard part was carrying them back to the truck several hundred feet away. Once back at the house, we'd have wood saw horses set up with siffting screen on top. We'd empty the bags in the trays, and wash them down good with the garden hose. The screen size was that of the common window screen. Then would let drip dry overnight. The next morning, we'd get some comfortable chairs and a pair of tweezers and methodically go through the trays (sometimes for hours)extracting beads, shells, bone tools, and occasionally delightful well worked arrow points. I wound up with several thousand beads this way, and strung up many necklaces, etc. and sold alot of them at shows. The ones I sold were almost always to people that recognized what they were, but at Texas shows, very few people know what they are. I still have about 8 or 9 neclaces left, but don't even bother taking them to shows here anymore. Didn't mean to get long winded about them, but I do enjoy seeing them pop up on the website here, and I appreciate your sharing them with us.
Thanks Mike. I'd asked about the beads a while back. When we were in Montana last year a dealer had found a lot (40,000+) in Wyoming and I was wondering about them in Tx. Other people have found them in this state.