The Skill & Art of Flintknapping

The first time I heard of flintknapping was in a college course I took on Western American History. Flintknapping, by the way, is the art and craft of making arrowheads and other stone tools.

If you aren’t aware, the hobby of searching for and collecting Native American artifacts is huge and can be practiced in about any area of the United States. It’s a complex topic that involves periods of time, type of materials used, manufacturing techniques, styles, and the trading of information and materials among the many native tribes.

You’ve probably seen examples of Indian arrowheads but you may have never seen anyone actually going through the making process. YouTube is full of videos of artifact collectors and people who enjoy the process of duplicating what Native Americans and other world peoples engaged in for thousands of years.

Ax head similar to what our son found just across the road from our home.

Making a stone tool is a time-consuming process and I tried to find a video example for this piece that was relatively short. I hope you enjoy it and learn a little about the past. If you think you’d like to learn something about the search for artifacts, visit YouTube and search for a fellow named Rocks Cousteau. He lives near Marietta, OH and spends much of his time along the banks of the Ohio River pursuing his passion.

Just as a point of information, Ohio is a hotbed for finding artifacts. When our son was a pre-teen he walked into a cornfield across from our home and struck artifact gold. It was his first attempt and to the amazement of us all, he came home with several nice artifacts including a large stone ax head. Who knew we were that close to tribal history?

One thought on “The Skill & Art of Flintknapping”

  1. Ohhh for sure! My StepFather and Mother used to go Arrow hunting all the time. He started his love affair with arrow hunting back as a youngun growing up in McCormick, SC and Edgefield SC area. He was born and grew up in McCormick. Near the Savannah River. He would tell stories of finding arrows heads and selling them to a collector. You have to realize that this was early 1920’s. He and Mom used to go up in the mountains and even around Lake Murray when the water was down.. They had a fine collection.. A neighbor of Aunt Grace in Miami, FL sent back an “ax head” found in Florida by them, similar to the one your son found up there in Ohio. They gave it to me one time on a visit to Miami to bring back with me to Bob and Mama. Not sure what happened to the collection but they had a lot of the good ones framed and others and pieces in shoe boxes. Many beautiful ones. I suggested to my step brother that they should donate the collection to a museum. I was told, “Ah the collection is just a bunch of junk”. Apparently he had no idea what they have.

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