Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Caribou Mandible Blanks

Bone blanks, mandible, and paper patterns
I spent most of the day notching glass and obsidian points, but I did sneak in a bit of bone working to get started on a few Beothuk pendant reproductions.  I have piles of caribou mandibles left over from the Wildlife Division and I used one to make the 3 blanks that I need for the pendants.  So far, so good.

I cut blanks from inside and outside of the body of mandible under the teeth , as well as one from the ramus.

Thin and flat
I've used long bones in the past for Beothuk pendant reproductions and the end products are pretty good, but they require a fair bit of shaping and thinning to get them down to the correct dimensions.  At first glance, it seems like the mandibles create flat blanks of the correct size and thickness, with much less effort.  I still have a bit of cleaning to do and I haven't finished the pendants yet, so my opinion might change, but so far the caribou mandibles seem like a pretty good source of the thin flat bone used by the Beothuk to make their pendants.

Photo Credits: Tim Rast


  1. Interesting idea, and I would suspect that they wouldn't have gone unnoticed by the Beothuk as a raw material source.

  2. I cut the blanks out with rotary tools, but I'd like to experiment with hand tools. I think that cracking them open with a rock or hatchet would produce blanks that could be turned into pendants very easily. I can't picture another bone that would provide the right sized bone blanks so easily.


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