Adapting to Life Alone on the Island: Chapter 9

Stone projectile points for spears and arrows. Found on San Nicolas Island in cache from 1800s. Courtesy of Department of Anthropology, California State University, Los Angeles.
Stone projectile points for spears and arrows. Found on San Nicolas Island in cache from 1800s. Courtesy of Department of Anthropology, California State University, Los Angeles.

Karana decides she does not want to live in the village by herself so she burns all the houses to the ground. She finds a large rock on a headland about a mile and a half from Coral Cove and sets up camp there. From her rocky resting spot, she will be able to watch the ocean and the cove for the returning ship.

Karana realizes she must protect herself from the wild dogs that killed her brother. Although she has a club, she knows she needs a bow, arrows, and a spear. Because tribal custom forbids women from making weapons, Karana looks for spearheads at the village, in the canoes by the cliffs, and in the black chest left by the otter hunters.

The chest is buried in beach sand but Karana is able to dig open the lid. She does not find any spearheads, but she does find bead necklaces and bracelets, and she tries them on. Karana then remembers the fight that cost many villager lives, and she throws the bead jewelry into the sea.

Karana makes her own spearhead, bow, and arrows. Then she practices with them.

Winter and spring pass.

Last updated: June 24, 2018