collected Feb 21 - 25, 1912
3 in HIGH
(7.62 cm HIGH)
Hopland | Mendocino Co.
Museum Purchase

on exhibit | Early California Art and History, Science Special Gallery, December 2007 - September 2009

Stone bed piece for mortar basket, used in grinding acorns. "A nice example of this little collected item." (Craig Bates, 10/91)

From the History Information Station: "Object: Mortar stone collected among the Canel Pomo in Mendocino County. It was collected by C.P. Wilcomb, founding curator of the Oakland Public Museum, circa 1912.History: Mortars are used for pounding dried acorn kernels into flour. To make flour, a woman sat on the ground straddling the mortar stone, scattered about ten handfuls of kernels on its surface, and pounded the kernels with a pestle, making a fine meal.The Kashaya Pomo observed certain restrictions while the pounding was in process. Pounding was done under a shelter so it would not bring rain, as the sound of the pestle striking the stone was associated with thunder. The processor never drank water wile pounding, so the meal would not lose its taste. Children were not allowed to stand behind the processor, as they caused her to tire, and love songs were not sung, for fear that the pestle would break."

Used: food preparation

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