Tools of the Nevada Indians
Tools for Hunter-Gatherers
- Nevada's major Indian tribes were primarily hunter-gatherers. Their harsh environment did not support meaningful agriculture or animal husbandry. The men of the tribes were responsible for making tools, nets and traps for hunting and fishing, while the tribes' women usually made the tools and containers for gathering and processing foodstuffs and medicines.
- The tribes crafted their tools from organically available materials including bone, stone and wood; these included stone hammers and chisels, tomahawks and axes, and clubs or cudgels of heavy wood. They also fashioned crude spears and bows and arrows from stone and sticks; some cutting tools had obsidian blades or points. There is little evidence that metals were used.
Tools for Hunting
- Men of the tribes made the weapons and traps for hunting. Stone and wood or sticks were the main components of most of these tools, although animal bone was used to make some smaller implements. Traps for hunting and fishing were made out of wood pieces joined by lengths of animal sinew; sinew also was the main element of fishing nets.
Tools for Domestic Use
- The tribes crafted sewing needles of bone; the men used these to both make and repair nets, and the women used them to fashion rough garments. Men used chisels made of stone to craft crude bowls used by the women in gathering and grinding food. Bowls were also used to make dyes and medicines out of insect and plant materials.