Thursday, August 4, 2011

Lloyd W. Smith Native American Collection

My name is Carleigh Moore and I am a rising senior anthropology student at the University of Notre Dame. This summer I am working with the Lloyd W. Smith Native American artifact collection.

At the onset of my internship, roughly four weeks ago, I began cataloguing the Native American collection in order to make it more accessible to the museum staff, researchers, and Native American tribes who may be interested in the collection.

The collection of over 20,000 artifacts is stored in 60 boxes. Within each large box there are several bags of artifacts, grouped by type. The majority of the collection is comprised of various types of stone tools and projectile points.

To complete the cataloguing process, I am methodically going through each bag to record information about every artifact in the collection. Each bag of artifacts receives a catalogue number according to its contents. Next, I photograph the contents of the bag. Finally, I record descriptions of the contents in an excel spreadsheet.

The best part of my job is when I come across something that I have never seen before. In one box, I found several bags of small round stones. I was unaware of their function until I researched and concluded they were most likely used as part of a bola throwing weapon. A bola consists of several connected ropes with weights on the end. Hunters throw the bola and the weapon’s ropes become tangled in the animal’s legs, often making it impossible for the animal to continue running.

While assigning these small stones new catalogue numbers I was in awe of the hunters’ ingenuity. I would have never thought to use these small stones to create such an effective weapon!

Blog entry by Carleigh Moore, University of Notre Dame.

1 comment:

  1. Mr. Smith was my step grandfather. As a young boy I had the pleasure of viewing all artifacts he had. He told me many stories about his life.Very interesting man.