Hard rock and patience

Man revives an art almost as old as humans

WINDOW ROCK

Navajo Times | Terry Bowman
Flintknapping artist Aldon Francisco displays his different tools and arrowheads he has constructed over his 25-year career of flintknapping at the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock.

Making arrowheads takes patience and technique, as well as good rocks.

Aldon Francisco from Tohatchi, New Mexico demonstrated his technique of flintknapping at the Navajo Nation Museum Wednesday evening on Feb. 22.

Aside from good technique, Francisco said the key is to be patient.

“It’s an art form, like painting, weaving, even food,” says Francisco to the attentive audience.

Francisco sharpened and shaped his arrowhead, giving a brief history of how they were used for hunting and tools for thousands of years. He demonstrated his technique and told the audience the different types of tools used to flintknap, tools available at any hardware store.

“I’m not a very patient person, but when I do this I become patient,” said Francisco.

Francisco said he learned how to flintknap in the mid-90s, learning from two archeologists who were accustomed to it.

“I met Aldon in the mid-90s when he first started. Now I call him a master,” said Clarenda Begay of the Navajo Nation Museum.

Larry Curtis was in attendance and said he learned a lot in the two hours Francisco taught about flintknapping.

“It was pretty interesting. We learned a lot. They should have this every week,” said Curtis.

Navajo Times | Terry Bowman

Flintknapping artist Aldon Francisco displays his different tools and arrowheads he has constructed over his 25-year career of flintknapping at the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock.

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