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Cattail-mat needle. Long, bowed, wooden needle, flat on one side, rounded on the other. Has one pointed end, other has the eye and is flattened and shaped.

History Of Use

Mat needles are used for sewing together, and crimping, mats made from cat-tail and tule reeds.

Cultural Context

domestic; plant technology

Specific Techniques

According to Dr. Michael Kew, Coast Salish mat needles were normally made from the wood of a plant called ocean spray or ironwood. They were made by splitting the vertical stalk to create two needles, flat on one side and rounded on the other.

Item History

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