Friday, December 19, 2008
Some Ted Orcutt Bifaces, the one at the Sacramento Museum is much larger.
Sacramento’s California State Indian Museum
Wednesday I went to Sacramento’s California State Indian Museum.I had heard that they had some of Ted Orcutt's large bifaces and some of Ishi's points. I was pleased to find that both were true. No photos are allowed at the museum, so I can't post any here. I always wondered why museums were so anal about photos, I asked the lady at the desk how I could obtain permission to secure some photos but she said there was no way! How do you research or publish something about an artifact if you can not photo it? Anyway, I will say that Orcutt's biface work displayed here is great! The large bifaces are displayed with other White Deer Dance Artifacts and black and white posters the historic dance. Orcutt's work looks much better than I could have captured on film anyway I suppose. The Ishi points, to my surprise were glued in place- ruining the rare artifacts. At least one was broken. Most of the made by Ishi and on display here were made of white milk glass. One was an anthropomorphic doodle of an Indian's siloete, with feather sticking up. I think 3 points were made of Purple glass. I don't pretend to know much about the story behind these points, other that Charlie Shewie had bought one of the Ishi knives from a guard here in 1968 or so. They are obviously made by Ishi, easyto tell if you have seen his other work. These Ishi points were not well knapped, the flake scars were crude step fractures and all the points were a different shape (type), the points were not lenticular. Only one point was notched well, a basal notch on an odd shaped purple glass point. This point had a round hollowed out base. I will try and get permission to photo or draw the points in a couple months, but they suck! The museomentrance fee is two bucks, not too bad, but the museum is very small. It is next door to the Sutter's Fort.