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Fishing net and spear

Pyramid Lake Northern Paiute fishing net and spear
ca. 1920
Pyramid Lake Reservation, Nevada
Dogbane or Indian hemp, wood bone, cordage, pitch
44 x 13 cm; 66 x 4 cm
Collected by Mark R. Harrington
13/3835, 13/4096

Northern Paiute duck decoy and fishing net
ca. 1920
Stillwater Reservation, Nevada
Tule rush, duck pelt, feathers, cordage
37 x 15 x 18 cm; 42 x 28 cm
Collected by Mark R. Harrington
13/4190, 13/4186

Canvasback ducks are winter visitors to the marshes of western Nevada and a great source of food. From the distant past to the early 20th century, Native hunters used decoys to lure waterfowl.

Lake- and marsh-based hunters and fishermen used linear and square nets of dogbane cordage in varied mesh sizes to contain or gill-catch different fish species. Nets were also used to capture waterfowl lured into the area with tule duck decoys. Paiute men also used single- and bi-pointed harpoons with toggled points made of bone to spear large fish, such as cutthroat trout, in rivers and along lakeshores.

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