Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Making Fire

We had not intended to visit the Pre-historique Parc à Ariège. We were heading for Foix, but a change of plans seemed like such a good idea when we saw the signs.

The information-crammed site of people who lived up to 13,000 and more years ago, unearthed by paleontologists from caves in the region told us about the rather sophisticated methods people of that period had for hunting, eating, creating art.

More than just molds of animal footprints and boards with details, the ateliers gave demonstrations on how they developed tools. One young man in seconds created a cutting tool to slice through skin then recycled it to scrape the skin without cutting it.
In this no microwave time, fire was of major importance. I'd always thought it would be a time consuming exercise. He proved me wrong. Taking powdered dry mushrooms (orange below) with a few strikes of a rock he produced an almost invisible bit of smoke. He blew on it.
 He reached for some straw and added it to the smoke. Again he blew on it and within seconds...
 Fire for cooking the evening meal.

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