the Tool Box
Is A Tool, Anyway?
has survived successfully because within our cultures we use many different
types of tools. Tools are used all of the time by peoples living everywhere
on Earth. Some types of tools are quite ordinary, but many are amazingly
Humans are not the only creatures which use tools. Birds build nests,
and nests are tools. Chimpanzees chew leaves and then use the partly
chewed leaves to soak up water to drink; the leaves are tools. Gorillas
fish' for ants using a twig; the twig is a tool. So, what is a
tool is anything which has been modified to make work or survival easier.
Everything which has been modified or manipulated by a human or animal
becomes a tool.
be incredibly simple; such as a length of cordage used to make a net.
Some tools are incredibly complex; consider the computer used to write
these words into sentences. There are some tools that are not immediately
obvious as being tools; like clothing, blankets, fire, shelters and
used in complex tasks. Tools are used to skin the hide from a deer,
which is sewn together using an awl and sinew thread to make clothing.
Consider the saw which cuts the wood, which is hammered into place as
a house is built. The knife, awl, sinew thread, hammer and saw are all
tools used to fabricate other tools like clothing and shelter. All of
these tools have been modified and manipulated to make work and survival
one of those important tools ensuring survival .
Between a Plant Fiber and a Tool
Many of the
tools used by The People in Idaho were made from plant fibers. Plants
like dogbane was pounded to produce fine, tough fibers that were twisted,
by repeated rubbing on the thigh, into longer strands that could be
used to make cordage. Through use of knots, this cordage was transformed,
through weaving, into a variety of useful and beautiful objects.
Cordage became carrying bags, nets for ensnaring animals, parts of nooses
and traps, and elements of composite tools of different materials. Cordage
was also woven and tied into clothing like aprons, skirts and capes.
most often find stone tools in the archaeological record, either on
the ground or hidden in the soil layers of an archaeological excavation.
However, The People mostly used tools of perishable materials made of
plant fibers like cordage and basketry. Consequently, many of the tools
made using cordage are not preserved in the archaeological record.
were one of the complex tools used made from several different materials,
Learn About The Hand Drill