Glacial Kame Birdstones (video)

Glacial Kame Birdstones

There are many theories about the functions of birdstones: they were handles for knives; they were handles or weights for spear throwers; they were used in games; they brought good luck to men hunting water fowl; they were worn as ornaments; they were clan totems; they were tied to the prows of canoes for protection from storms; they were symbols of the spirit leaving a body at death and flying to the next world; women tied them on their heads to show that they were able to bear children. Some of these ideas are more plausible than others. However, only the careful study of more Glacial Kame sites will allow archaeologists to draw firm conclusions about birdstones.

The thumbnail image is of a birdstone made from banded slate that is grayish blue green and grayish black. The overall length is 161mm. The head is long and narrow with a horn-like, cylindrical projection on the right side. The other side appears to have had the same projection that was broken off. Found at the Karl Williams Site, Perrysburg (Wood County), Ohio.

Catalog Number: A4189/000024