Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Maritime Archaic Indian Bird Headed Combs

The Maritime Archaic Indians buried their dead at Port au Choix 4400-3300 years ago, while the pyramids were being built in Egypt. I've talked about the bird headed pins that were found at this site in previous posts, but there were also bird headed combs found in the excavations.

Here are a few that I made this spring. The combs are made from shed Caribou antler, given to me by a friend from Labrador. The Maritime Archaic Indians used a lot of red ochre in their burials, which lead to them being called the Red Paint People.

The antler gave these combs a very warm creamy colour and I was reluctant to cover it up with the ochre, but in this case the ochre staining is part of making an accurate reproduction. To apply the ochre, I have a couple handfuls of ochre in a plastic tub and mix in a cup of water. I add the finished bone or antler pieces to be stained to the tub, put the lid on and shake it all about. I find that method fills in the gaps between the teeth better than trying to paint the ochre on. I also like the way the ochre looks when it dries, you can see that its a dusty earth pigment, which I feel adds to the look of the reproduction. The water is a temporary medium that allows good coverage by the ochre, but that doesn't stick around like an oil base would. To keep the ochre on the piece and off your hair or fingers I'll spray on several coats of a clear finish.
Elfshot Reproduction Maritime Archaic Indian Combs & Pin
Clockwise from left,
Antler Comb, Small (Antler, Red Ochre) $51.75 tax inc

Antler Comb, Large (Antler, Red Ochre) $69.00 tax inc
Bone Pin (Bone, Red Ochre, Sealskin Barrette, not shown) $25.88 tax inc

Photo Credits: Tim Rast

Photo Caption:
Top: Natural coloured antler and bone goes into the red ochre tub.
Middle: The water evaporates leaving a coating of ochre on all the carved surfaces.
Bottom: Finished bone and antler reproductions.

1 comment:

  1. Smart post admin but i think you need more explanation and more Pics
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    Ancient Egypt Timeline and Egyptian Sphinx


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