Desert Peoples / Native Peoples

Arrow Straightener

Arrow Straightener

Cahuilla: patávnivaal
Chemehuevi: tüwaranümp
Mojave: ‘ipa meramer

Southern Californian bow and arrow hunting technology dates back several millenia. Many traditional arrow makers still use materials such as arrowweed and cane to make arrow shafts. These plant stems have few twists or curves which would affect the arrow's ability to fly straight. However, when unprocessed stems need straightening, the arrow maker shapes and hardens the shaft by running it through the groove of a heated arrow straightener.

Both soapstone and basalt hold heat well, but soapstone is preferred since it is more easily formed. Each arrow straightener in the park’s collection has the basic shape of the one shown but may vary with unique finished incised designs.

Basalt. L 10.5, W 4.6, T 3.4 cm
Joshua Tree National Park, JOTR 5330