Photo a Day Challenge


A young Ojibwe man successfully started a matchless fire to our . . . delight.

He used a hickory bow with a leather string to spin a pointed maple drill on a basswood fire board.  He placed tinder made from the inner bark of cedar and birch pounded into fine strands of fiber and shaped into a puffed bird nest under the fire board. He spun the drill by oscillating the bow until the fire board smoked and glowed, then quickly dumped the hot sawdust onto the tinder and blew on it until it produced a flame.


7 responses

  1. That is amazing. Great picture of concentration

    September 16, 2012 at 5:25 am

  2. Indigenous Australians use a similar tool.

    September 16, 2012 at 7:46 am

  3. Great storyboard!

    September 16, 2012 at 9:37 am

  4. Impressive skills. At campers, we know how hard it can be to start a fire even with matches, so I appreciate his art.

    September 16, 2012 at 8:26 pm

  5. The sequence shots are fantastic!

    September 18, 2012 at 4:52 pm

  6. If constructed properly, a bow drill, consisting of a fireboard, a drill, a socket and a bow, will create heat that can light tinder. A notch must be cut in the side of a fireboard through which a drill will pass and rest on a flat grooved surface below. a socket (lubricated with grease) to fit the hand will allow the drill, operated with a sring of a bow, to rotate first one way and then another until a fine, dust results. The dust will smoke when it becomes heated. Then it should be placed into the tinder and blown into flame. * For this one, you really need to get together with others and work on it in order to master the skill.

    September 19, 2012 at 9:09 am

  7. Tammy

    Love how you showed the picture within the picture…very cool processing!

    September 19, 2012 at 9:51 am

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