Download e-book for kindle: American Flintknappers. Stone Age Art in the Age of by John C. Whittaker

By John C. Whittaker

Making arrowheads, blades, and different stone instruments used to be a survival ability and continues to be a craft practiced by means of millions of flintknappers world wide. within the usa, knappers assemble at neighborhood "knap-ins" to socialise, alternate principles and fabric, purchase and promote either gear and knapped artwork, and make stone instruments within the corporation of others. In among those gatherings, the knapping neighborhood remains attached via newsletters and the Internet.

In this e-book, avid knapper anthropologist John Whittaker deals an insider's view of the knapping group. He explores why stone instruments allure sleek humans and what making them potential to people who pursue this paintings. He describes how new contributors are included into the knapping group, how rookies study the strategies of knapping and locate their roles in the workforce, how the neighborhood is dependent, and the way ethics, ideas, and ideology approximately knapping are built and transmitted. He additionally explains how the perform of knapping pertains to expert archaeology, the exchange in glossy replicas of stone instruments, and the forgery of artifacts. Whittaker's ebook hence records a desirable way of life of yankee existence and introduces the broader public to an old and nonetheless lucrative craft.

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Additional resources for American Flintknappers. Stone Age Art in the Age of Computers

Example text

His vast range of experience with all sorts of artifacts gave him a very knowledgeable eye, and his judgment on points, modern or ancient, was respected by all the Fort Osage knappers. If he liked a knapper’s work, he would buy from him regularly, and he said he had hundreds of points by each of several modern knappers, at a time when very few collectors were interested in modern knapping. He not only encouraged some of these knappers by praising their work publicly, but by paying them a lot of money for their points.

His laboratory collected ethnographic accounts of knapping techniques and experimented with them, and Ellis had published a major report in  (Ellis ). Ellis analyzed two hundred specimens from the Reed collection and was much more definite in his conclusions than Clements and Reed. He noted that the eccentrics “did not conform to any known pattern within the area of their occurrence” (, ), and only superficially resembled Maya eccentrics. They still had some small, loosely attached flake remnants, typical of freshly chipped pieces.

The Fort Osage knappers, most of whom use copper, find Callahan’s views extreme, to put it politely. They point out that the line drawn for traditionalism is highly arbitrary—Callahan himself is a leader in promoting art knapping that goes beyond anything produced in prehistory, even if he claims that traditional techniques are the only legitimate way to make it. The dominant view among Fort Osage knappers seems to be “live and let live” (Blackwell a). Different tools are seen as requiring slightly different, but equally respectable, skills, and “copper bopper” knappers are annoyed by the moralizing tone of some of the traditionalists.

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