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The Culture of the Luiseño Indians, by Philip Stedman Sparkman, [1908], at


The most useful pitch is the asphaltum found where it has been thrown up on the coast by the waves, also in some localities inland. This is used for various purposes, such as mending broken pottery, gluing foreshafts of arrows to the mainshaft, and so on. A gum is obtained from a shrub growing in great abundance in certain parts. This is caused by a scale insect. It was formerly used to glue arrowheads to the foreshaft. The gum of pines was also used.

To obtain the black color seen in baskets the splints of sumac are boiled in water in which oxide of iron from water impregnated with iron, and some of the black dirt or muck from marshy places, have been placed. A yellow dye is obtained from the roots of Psoralea macrostachya, a tall leguminous plant growing along streams, by boiling them in water with the substance to be dyed. The juice of blackberries is sometimes used to stain articles of Luiseño manufacture. This is of course not permanent.

An excellent red paint was made. Many rock paintings made with it are still to be seen, although it has not been used for many years. Three different ingredients were used in its manufacture, one being the oxide of iron already spoken of as being used to make a black dye. Another was turpentine obtained from pine

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trees, and the third the ground kernels of the seeds of chilicothe, Echinocystis macrocarpa. These were probably valued for the oil they contain. We cannot learn that any animal fats were used in this red paint. This is the paint with which paintings were made on rocks during the period of restriction of the girls’ puberty ceremony.

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