Using a finished awl to split inner plant fibers away for making cordage.
Deer Cannon Bone, Cut in Half Lengthwise and Crosswise
Electric Sander (optional)
Horsetails (Equisetum sp.), Dried
Use a knife to remove some dried soft tissue.
Fine cleaning with water and a toothbrush.
Using an electric sander helps get sharpening quickly under way.
Scrape on a rock to sharpen the bone into a point.
Rub the dried horsetails onto the awl as the last part of the process. The silica in the fibers acts like sandpaper as the horsetail falls apart.
NOTE: HORSETAIL SILICA CAN BE IRRITATING TO THE LUNGS. USE OUTDOORS, TAKING CARE NOT TO INHALE.
We used our awls to aid in pushing fibers through dried tules for making a doll-size sleeping mat.
This was taught to me by Dino Labiste, a Naturalist with the East Bay Regional Parks District in a class entitled, "Ohlone Tools and Games for Your Classroom." While it appears this class is no longer being taught, a resource page can be found on the East Bay Regional Parks website.
Lesson plan adapted by Heather Taylor, email@example.com. You are welcome to share all materials with credit to her.