About this object

History of use

The bow was used as the primary weapon for hunting land animals. Arrows were specialized for hunting animals or birds. Arrows used for bird hunting had "a hardwood knob or a fiber wrapping at the end of the shaft (Barnett 1955:102)." While a very common shape for other types of arrows was a " point [that] was five or six inches long. Both for hunting and warfare, it was set into a slot in the blunt, untapered end of the shaft in such a way that, when the victim was pierced, the shaft dropped off and the point remained in the wound (1955:102)." Wilson Duff reports that arrows of bone and ground stone were used by the Sto:lo for hunting, while those of chipped stone were used for war. He adds that the war point were sometimes poisoned by dipping them in the human brain (see 1952:59).


This arrow was found in a shell heap near New Westminster, with four others, between 1920-1927. Frank Burnett the collector sailed around British Columbia during this period collecting artifacts.

Cultural context

hunting; warfare

Physical description

Arrow consisting of a long cylindrical wooden shaft with one notched end and a metal point at the other, secured with wrapped sinew. The triangular point has three notches at its base, above the long fore-shaft. The point is set into the wooden shaft and strands of sinew are tightly wrapped around the hafted area. The opposite end of the shaft has red pigment, possibly ochre, on it. Three grey and white feathers are hafted to this end with sinew, covering the ends of the quill. The end of the wooden shaft has a notch in it and sinew is wrapped around it.