Share your favorites on Show & Tell

Ancient Indian Pestle

In Native American > Show & Tell.
Native American Antiques1203 of 1419Native American items found over the yearshelp identifying symbols native american?
Love it
Like it

packrat-placepackrat-place loves this.
LaureniscontentLaureniscontent loves this.
Add to collection

Please create an account, or Log in here

If you don't have an account, create one here.

Create a Show & TellReport as inappropriate

Posted 6 years ago


(5 items)

One of our most prized possessions! This is from SE Arizona/W New Mexico area and we at first thought it was an Indian Hammer, after some research we discovered that it is actually a very impressive pestle from a mortar & pestle set! Notice the dark line that is near the sharpened end of the stone. This line is not visible to the naked eye but shows up on camera where the line was originally and accidentally discovered. The Native Americans used these to grind very fine materials into powder for different uses like war paint or sand paintings. This was a carefully crafted item and had high value to its owner who was likely a Shaman of the tribe who was bestowed with the responsibility of making sure this was done properly as part of their religious ceremonies and had to have just the right mixture and right amount of grinding in order for the ceremony to be done properly. It is believed that the Anasazi brought this art form to the Southwest from their origins, other Meso-American peoples also prized bright color in pigments as well as they were used for important purposes. We believe this to be around 1500 years old. It is hard to determine what kind of stone it is made of but these were generally made from an ingenous rock such as granite or basalt because of the density and how heavy it is. Now, more about that mysterious line! The line you see towards the sharper end goes all the way around the stone. This line actually authenticates the stone because the line is where it ground around and around in the mortar or bowl edge, slowly and repeatedly over time, and it actually ground the color and line into the stone. It fits perfectly into your hand like a glove! It is a precision work of art to make this into what it is! We had an expert, Ralph Salier, who is an Archaelogist, Lithics Expert, and Anthropologist authenticate this piece for us! We hope you enjoy viewing it as much as we do!

Want to post a comment?

Create an account or login in order to post a comment.