Monday, April 13, 2009

Eggs, Rocks, Bunnies, Spirits, Books

"In Japan, flint and obsidian arrow-heads are regarded as the weapons still in use by spirits. The popular belief there is, that every year an army of spirits fly through the air with rain and storm; when the sky clears, the people go out and hunt in the sand for the stone arrow-heads the spirits have dropped."

From Flint Chips by Edward Thomas Stevens, 1870

I found that quote the other day in a book digitized by google books. It has several pages dedicated to Elfshot and Thunderstones.

This is the second time in two weeks I've seen something fantastic on google books. A few days ago, John sent me a set of illustrations of 19th century Greenland Inuit clothing, toys, and tools from Meddelelser Om Grønland.

"If flint arrow-heads were regarded as "elf-darts," stone hatchets were equally believed to be thunderbolts. In Greece they are known as astropelekia, or axes that fall from the stars. So early as the time of Pliny they were known as thunderbolts."

From Flint Chips, 1870.

Photo Credits:
Top; Tim Rast
Bottom; Erick Walsh

Photo Captions:
Top; Surveying a sand blowout in Labrador
Bottom; Elfshot reproduction of a flint hand-axe or "thunderbolt"

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