Thursday, 13 December 2007

You are very welcome Running Deer/Tah'ca Inyanka.The method you describe was/is I believe a modern invention, that works best with charred cloth. Remember, there was no "char" or "charcloth". I can find no evidence that common people used charred cloth as tinder much before the 19th century. Tinder was soaked in potasium nitrate (saltpeter). and sold in the city streets by hawkers and it was available in drug stores. In wilderness situations of course this method of preparing tinder was not available, unless one wished to use urine. I have tried both without any satisfying results, but charring works very well. Often it seems musket flints were used. In trade lists of striker supply, no mention of flint shards is shown, only musket flints. Of course using agate or quartz or similar was probably common, one used what was at hand. It is easier to use the method you mention if you have a larger enough piece of stone. Really when you think of there being no use of charred cloth, except in an emergency where tinder was not available, it is not an easy method to use with firm tinder. Also the tinderbox made things easier, and conserved tinder. There was at that time really no need to invent a different method of striking sparks onto tinder.

Supplement to Primitive Fire Lighting-Flint and Steel. Read Mace. Also known in Australia as Broad-leaved Cumbungi, and Bulrush.· Piptoporus Cretaceus. Other similar bracket fungi: Laetiporus portentosus; Fomes fomentarius; Piptoporus betulinus. The Laetiporus looks very similar to the Piptoporus, and at one time was called by that name.· More information at: www.anbg.gov.au/fungi/aboriginal.html I hope you and the family have a good xmas. My very best wishes and most sincere regards, Keith/Le Loup.

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