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 Museum Explorer

Tools and technology in the Americas

Shell scraper

Length: 20.000 cm
Width: 5.000 cm

AOA Ethno +3556

Shell scraper

From: Tierra del Fuego (Yámana)
Date: 19th century AD

If an animal skin is going to be made into clothes, the inside of the skin needs to be scraped clean. The Yamana people, who lived at the very southern tip of South America, made scrapers like this one to do the job. The handle is made from a smooth pebble and the very sharp blade is made from a mussel shell. The blade is attached to the handle by a leather strip that is wrapped around the two parts and provides a grip.