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Thread: Native American Clay Marbles

  1. #1
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    Native American Clay Marbles

    I found these clay and stone marbles on a woodland - historic occupied area in WV. All were found on the surface alongside triangular points, scrapers, tools, etc. If you have any you'd like to share feel free to do so.

    Here's a couple links I found on the subject. Apparently the Cherokee tribe in this area made clay marbles and played games with them.

    http://library.thinkquest.org/3708/indgames.htm

    http://www.nativetech.org/games/othergames.html

    http://www.refinerofgold.com/marbles/history.html


    * I just noticed that the small white ball on top right in first pic is an old musket ball.
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  3. #2
    Arrowheadologist
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    Those are cool, I like all the different colors. I didn't know there are flint marbles (third link). I would be interested to see pictures of one if anyone happens to have one. Thanks for the info Ghost.

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    Wonder if one was a Woodland period Indian and wanted to make a round ball similiar to these show sizes out of hardstone, how would they done it, to get them so round. At least with what tools they had to work with?? The Clay could be fairly easy to make and fire....the hardstone??

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gomer View Post
    Wonder if one was a Woodland period Indian and wanted to make a round ball similiar to these show sizes out of hardstone, how would they done it, to get them so round. At least with what tools they had to work with?? The Clay could be fairly easy to make and fire....the hardstone??
    Good question, wish I knew the answer. I've also wondered how they managed to make the stone pieces into a round ball, some are near perfect spheres. My best guess is they stated with a rounded pebble or rock to begin with and ground it into shape? Most of the stone marbles show polish.

    Appreciate the comments.

    centraliowa, I saw that about flint, I kind of doubt that but who knows? I'd like to see a marble made of flint too. Thanks.

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    Graduate Arrowheadologist
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    Got a few Cat's Eye I'll trade you

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    We were diggin crisners yesterday and our buddy jesse pulled out a nice marble couldnt believe the perfection great piece indeed

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    I have doubts that those are ancient clay marbles and some look like stone marbles. Maybe, just maybe, some were traded to or given to the natives in the 1800s.
    Not all those who wander are lost.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesertWalker View Post
    I have doubts that those are ancient clay marbles and some look like stone marbles. Maybe, just maybe, some were traded to or given to the natives in the 1800s.

    I wasn't really claiming they're ancient, but found alongside triangles and tools that are woodland to historic in age. Possibly traded in, or possibly historic pieces that are unrelated. Like I said some of these are stone. I've been researching them and found some sites with info on them. Clay and stone marbles have been found in native american sites and burials. FWIW

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rock hound taylor View Post
    We were diggin crisners yesterday and our buddy jesse pulled out a nice marble couldnt believe the perfection great piece indeed

    Like to see a picture of it if you got one.

  11. #10
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    i have heard that the stone marbles form naturally..a stone falls into a pocket in the river and cannot excape..it is twirled by the current making it eventually roundish..these were found along the Chauga River in S.C...the crystal piece did not make it to round..
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