late 19th, early 20th century
2.25 in WIDE
(5.71 cm WIDE)
Klamath River
Museum Purchase

Stirring paddles, wood "Oak, probably tan oak. Well used, lots of burn marks." (George Blake, 9/95)

From the History Information Station "Object: Carved wooden paddle, collected among the lower Klamath River peoples, which dates to the late 19th or ealry 20th century. It was acquired by the Oakland Public Museum in 1911.History: Wood carving is only done by men in the Klamath River region, and each man makes a paddle like this one for use in the preparation of his family's meals. The paddles are used to stir acorn mush, the staple food of the lower Klamath River peoples. Acorn mush is prepared by mixing the flour in a cooking basket with water. Since baskets will burn if placed directly over a fire, hot stones are added to the mixture to cook it. The mixture must be stirred vigorously with a paddle to cook it evenly, and to prevent the stones from burning the basket. Did you notice the burn marks that hot cooking stones have made on this paddle?"

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