Food Preparation

Wooden mortar and pestle, ceramic cooking balls, pottery cooking vessels, the ulu knife, middle Missouri knife, stone knife, scapula knife, squash knife and scapula cleaver were all used to make food. The wooden mortar and pestle was used to pound seeds into meal or flour to make for quicker cooking or for a specific texture. Ceramic cooking balls were designed for cooking in the absence of pottery. Pottery-cooking vessels were used for cooking everything, but were especially effective for cooking nuts and seeds into an easily digestible food. Knives and cleavers were designed to cut meat and vegetables into smaller pieces for eating and cooking.

Mortar and Pestle

Mortar and PestelCorn and other plant seeds were ground into meal and flour for cooking using a wooden mortar and pestle. This process was used for thousands of years in food preparation.Great for hands-on participation especially for children.

Practically indestructible. Wooden mortar and pestles were used throughout the Eastern United States. Comes with starter package of corn and acorns.
Small-$175.00
Large-$250.00
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Ceramic Cooking Balls

Ceramic Cooking BallsPottery cooking balls are found on numerous archaeological sites in the southeastern United States and were used during the Archaic period (several thousand years ago) when ceramic cooking pots were not in use.

Archaeologists believe a bunch of ceramic balls were heated up in a fire and dropped in a wooden or skin container to boil water, which cooked the food or placed in a covered pit to bake food.
$30.00/6 cooking balls

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Pottery Vessels

Pottery Vessels Pottery VesselsTools From The Earth can make many styles of North American pottery for your exhibit or hands-on program.
Contact us for available types and prices

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Eskimo Ulu Knife (Women’s Knife)

Ulu Knife Ulu KnifeThe ulu knife was used to cut whale blubber and meat, butcher salmon and even used to cut children's hair. There were many styles from different regions. The slate ulu dates to prehistoric times before much metal was used. The slate blade is set in a wood handle with hide glue or pine pitch.

These are usable on meat but not hard items such as wood or bone. Please do not try to cut your children's hair!
$75.00

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Middle Missouri Knife

Middle Missouri KnifeBone handles made from bison ribs or vertebral spines (bones in the bison's hump) along with detached stone blades are found on Plains archaeological sites on the upper Missouri River. The stone blades are set in bison rib or vertebral spines with hide glue.

These knives are faithful recreations of what they looked like when they were used several hundred years ago on the Plains. This knife was used recently to partially butcher a bison and it performed very well.
$60.00

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Stone Knife

Stone KnifeThis was a general all-purpose household knife used to cut string, food, meat, hide or wood. The stone for the knife, flint, is very hard and can be chipped to a very sharp edge, but is also brittle and can break easily.

The stone blade is attached to a wood handle with hide glue and/or rawhide, depending upon type of blade. Stone knives of this type are common in the Eastern United States.
$75.00

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Scapula Knife/Squash Knife/Cleaver

Scapula CleaverScapula KnifeScapula knives, squash knives and cleavers are made from portions of bison scapulas (shoulder blades). Thin areas of scapulas served as the cutting edge with thicker ridges often serving as handles. Prehistoric people often made Scapula knives/squash knives and cleavers from broken bison scapula hoe blades, a form of recycling and therefore come in many shapes and sizes.

They are found on Plains archaeological sites from Oklahoma, north to the Middle Missouri River in the Dakotas. There is evidence that some of the tools were used to cut cooked squash into rings which were strung on long poles to dry for winter storage. Archaeologists believe they were used for cutting many other soft items as well.
$35.00-$50.00

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Hooked Bone Knife

Hooked Bone KnifeThe hooked bone knife is a cutting tool made of a bison scapula (shoulder blade) that looks similar to the modern day linoleum blade -- the inside edge is sharp but how it functioned is not known. It is found on Plains archaeological south of the Middle Missouri River.
$55.00

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