"Primitive (first) skills are our shared inheritance.
It is the shared thread which links us to our prehistory
and binds us together as human beings."
Quote by Steve Watts

Knowledge is not complete until it is passed on.
But, the knowledge that is passed on must be complete.

Quote by Dino Labiste

Primitive Techknowlogy
Ancient Techniques for the Future



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Stone Age Technology

E-mail Questions Answered

Recommended Books & Magazines

Movies of Interest
(Entertainment, Educational, and How-To videos)

"Native American Buffalo Robes,
A Study of their Role in Plains Indian Societies and a Guide to Traditional Tanning Techniques" by Markus Klek

"Stone Age Engineering" by Dick Baugh

Stores that Offer Resources for Primitive Technology Projects

TRADING POST - items for sale




Cultural History


California Knappers

What to Teach Kids and Why

Sharing Old Ways With The Young

First Skills (Interview with Norm Kidder on Wildebeat.net)



Dakota Stove with Clay Pot

Ancient Fire Making (Interview with Dino Labiste on Wildebeat.net)


Carbon - Catalyst To Fire

Some Uses of Fire

Evidence of Ancient Campfires

Campfire Construction - How to Build a Fire

The Miracle of Fire-by-Friction

The Miracle of Fire-by-Friction, Revisited

3 Fire-by-Friction Methods (video)

Fire Thong

The Egyptian Bow Drill

Making Fire with a Bow Drill

Making Fire with a Hand Drill

Hand Drill Fire Making (videos)

Thumb Loop Hand Drill
Article on PaleoPlanet Forum
by CA Knapper (a.k.a. Dino Labiste)

A Friction Fire Inquiry: Hand Drill

Starting Fire with a Lens Made From Ice!

Fire Piston

Fire Piston: Primitive Technology for the 21st Century

Bamboo Strike-A-Light

Paleolithic Stone on Stone Fire Technology

Fire-by-Percussion & Fire-by-Compression (video)

The Two-Stick Hearthboard

Hearthboard Variations

Spindle Extension for a Fire Bow Drill

Scarfing a Fire Spindle

Fire-by-Friction Methods of the Australian Aborigines

Smallest Bow Drill Fire-by-Friction Set

Friction Fire Woods and Successful Wood Combinations

Fire-By-Friction: Materials of the San Francisco Bay Region

Fire-by-Friction with Damp Materials

Fire Tube

Got Tinder?

Substitutes for Tinder Fungus

Waterproof Fire Starter

Fire Roll

Geriatric Friction Fire

Starting With Fire (Interview with Dino Labiste on Wildebeat.net)

Primitive Cooking

Adobe Horno

Bamboo Rice Cooker

Imu - Hawaiian Underground Oven

Pit Oven

Boiling With Hot Stones

Boil Water in a Cabbage Leaf

Salmon Cooking

Cattail Pollen Pancakes



California Knapping

Mesoamerican Prismatic Blade Production from Obsidian (video)

Flintknapping Videos by Ken Peek

Flintknapping Videos by Dick Baugh

Flintknapping Videos by Ken Kehoe

The Secrets of the Sinew

Internal Friction on Bow Limbs

Bow and Arrow Efficiency

Wooden Bow Lethargy

Miracle of Bowyery

Ötzi's Bow

Cordage Backed Bow

Making an Asiatic Composite Bow

Making a Bow From a Sapling

Simple, Cheap & Effective Bows and Arrows

Using a Hatchet to Make a Bow

A Foolproof Method for Bow Tillering

Making a Board Bow

Fletching Jig

Fletching By Hand

Feather Clamp

Arrow Straightening

A Simple Scale for Weighing Arrows

Grow Your Own Bowstring

Archer's Thumb Ring

Making an Archer's Thumb Ring from Cow Horn, Antler or Bone

Making an Atlatl from a Branch

Other Types of Atlatls: Loop, Fork and Cord

The Split and Wedge Atlatl

Field Points for Atlatl Darts

Jiffy Arrow & Atlatl Dart Fletch Using Duct Tape

Atlatl Rest, Safety Loop & Anti-Gravity Device (AGD)

Joining Two Atlatl Shafts with a Scarf and Tube Method

The Scarf Key

Ice Glue

Atlatl Dart Tuning

Atlatl Flexibility Analysis

The Dynamics of Spear Throwing

Simple Atlatl Spear Thrower Construction

Atlatl Spur from the San Francisco Bay Area

Atlatl in Ancient Rock Art

The Shingle Dart

Fun with Cattails: The Whip Dart

Bamboo Clay Thrower

Gourd Shot Gun Sling

How to Make a Wooden Canoe Paddle

Spears, Weirs and Traps

The Basics of Woodworking with Stone Age Tools

Making a Bone Awl with Stone Tools

Manufacturing Abalone Shell Circular Fish Hook: California's Chumash Style

Antler Fishing Hook

Nasal Bone Hook

The Hoko Knife - A quick, simple stone tool

Bamboo Knife (videos)

Antler Handle Knife

The Stone Saw

The Scapular Saw

Crystal-Tipped Hand Drill

Scallop Baking Shells

A Performance of Various Pacific Northwest Shell Types as Containters for Melting Pitch

Opening a Coconut with a Stone


Coconut Knee Drum

Bone Flutes

Primitive Quail Call

Primitive Hand Made Reed Flute

Horsetail Pan Flute

Sycamore Membranophone

Puniu - Hawaiian Knee Drum

Deer Hoof Rattle

Musical Instruments of Central California

Kubing - Traditional Bamboo Instrument

Black Walnut Rattle

Random Thoughts on
Tradition vs. Technology

Primitive Crystal Light!

Mount Diablo

Tule Basket Weaving Thoughts

Link to "A Charmstone Discovery in the Redwood Forests of Mendocino County, California"

Link to "Banjo" type ornaments made of red abalone


Deer Scapular Saw

Back to the Pleistocene

The Ohlone Peoples: Botanical, Animal and Mineral Resources

Weaving a Lauhala Mat

Processing Shark Skin into Rawhide

Fresh-Scrape Braintan Buckskin Tutorial

Wringing Net for Small and Slippery Hides

Brain Tanned Buffalo Hides

Tanning a Fox Hide

More Than One Way to Skin a Critter (Part I)

More Than One Way to Skin a Critter (Part II)

Pelt Bag

Removing Deer Hooves

Making a Folded Bark Basket

How to Weave a Basket, a Primer

Homo sapiens - A Basket Case

Southern California Pottery

Rocks, Minerals and Decorative Stones Used by the California Indians

How to Paint a Mammoth

Black Dye

Cordage Making (videos)

Making Cordage By Hand

Cordage in North America

Cordage Fiber Shredder Made From Bone

Processing Yucca Fibers

The Ties that Bind and Bindings that Tie

What Knot to Use in a Primitive Situation

Waorani Hammock

Waorani Fishing Net

Pomo Netting

How to Make a Rabbit Skin Blanket

Some Uses of Ermine Moth Caterpillar Silk

Introduction To Tule Ethnobotany

Twined Tule Mat

Pomo Tule Bittern

Klamath Twined Tule Visor

Paiute Tule Duck Decoy

Cattail Duck

Cattail Doll

Tule Boat Project

Dugout Canoe

Building a Skin-On-Frame Kayak

Four Hour Kayak

Ajumawi Fish Traps

Inuit Thimble

Ulchi-Style Bear Amulet

Willow Rake

Smoothing with Sand, Even-ing with Equisetum

How to Make Pine Pitch

Pitch - Primitive Epoxy

Birch Bark Tar

The Three-Stick Roycroft Pack Frame

The Iceman's Belt

Making a Leather Knife Sheath

Deer Hide Knife Sheath

Steam Bending Wood

Log Ladder

Wilderness Grooming

Primal Grooming
(Interview with Susan Labiste on Wildebeat.net)

Falconry - Modern and Traditional

Thirty Years in the Jungle!



Tule (bulrush) House

Was Agriculture a Good Idea,
or an Act of Desperation?

Calendar of Harvesting and Gathering


Gathering Basket Making Materials (videos)

Bare-Handed Basket

Useful Plants of California (1)

Useful Plants of California (2)

Useful Plants of California (3)


Plants of California: Soap Plant (Chlorogalum pomeridianum)

Dogbane (Apocynum cannabinum) - Cordage Fibers

Nature's General Store: The Yuccas and Agaves

Acorn Granaries of California

The Ti Plant Called Ki


Plants of Oceania: Kou (Cordia subcordata)

Hawaiian Plants (a trip to the Big Island)

Bamboo Thoughts and Curing

Bull Whip Kelp

Fishing with Poisons

Fishing with Hawaiian Plants

Wild Shelters
(Interview with Norm Kidder on Wildebeat.net)

Thatched Ohlone Style House

Tule House Project


How to Build an Igloo

Scout Pit

The Primitive Sauna



Tule (bulrush) Boat

I Belong To This Country
(an Australian adventure)

Native California Fall Gathering
at San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area

Rattlesnake Rendezvous

Australian Aborigine Flint Knapping

Primitive Field Day at Stanford University

Wilderness Survival Skills

Wilderness Survival Skills Revisited

Primitive Skills Campout

Coyote Hills Knap-In and The Gathering of Ohlone Peoples

Winter Count

Rabbitstick Rendezvous


Portable Shaving Horse

How to Make Your Own Steel Knives

A Cutting Edge: Creating a Steel Blade in a Primitive Setting

The Miracle of Steel Heat Treatment

Knife Sharpening Jig

Two Bladed Pocket Knife from PVC and Hacksaw Blades

Makng a Wallet Knife

Folding Saw

Johnstone Tools

Horseshoe Nail Notching Tool

Silverware Deadfall

Survival Kit

Portable Shaving Horse

Urban Resources

Alternative Supplies for Urban Dwellers

Wilderness & Urban Tips

Fire by Chemical Reaction

Making Fire Using a Balloon

How to Make a Simple Fire Piston Out of Hardware Store Material

Fire Making Using Solar Power (video)



Hawaiian Stone Adze

Photo Gallery I

Photo Gallery II

Photo Gallery III

Photo Gallery IV

YouTube Videos: Skills of the Past & Present

Interesting Links

"The Info Super Highway Refugee" poem



PrimitiveWays began in 1998 and is produced by
Dino Labiste, Dick Baugh, Bob Gillis, Norm Kidder,
Chuck Kritzon, Ken Peek and Susan Labiste

E-mail your comments to "Dino Labiste" at KahikoArts@yahoo.com, "Bob Gillis" at bob@shelter-systems.com,
"Richard A. Baugh" at richardbaugh@att.net, "Norm Kidder" at atlatl1@aol.com,"Chuck Kritzon" at chuckk@petroglyphics.com,
"Ken Peek" at kspeek123@att.net
or "Susan Labiste" (e-mail address not available at this time).

The excerpts by Steve Watts summarizes our philosophy on practicing and teaching primitive technology.

Disclaimer: We hope the information on the PrimitiveWays website is both instructional and enjoyable. Understand that no warranty or guarantee is included. We expect adults to act responsibly and children to be supervised by a responsible adult. If you use the information on this site to create your own projects or if you try techniques described on PrimitiveWays, behave in accordance with applicable laws, and think about the sustainability of the natural resources. Using tools or techniques described on PrimitiveWays can be dangerous with exposure to heavy, sharp or pointed objects, fire, stone tools and hazards present in outdoor settings. Without proper care and caution, or if done incorrectly, there is a risk of property damage, personal injury or even death. So, be advised: Anyone using any information provided on the PrimitiveWays website assumes responsibility for using proper care and caution to protect property, the life, health and safety of himself or herself and all others. He or she expressly assumes all risk of harm or damage to all persons or property proximately caused by the use of this information.


© PrimitiveWays 2020
All rights reserved.
No part, content, illustration, graphic, photo or video from this website may be copied, transferred or reproduced without express written permission from PrimitiveWays. Contact Dino Labiste (webmaster) for more information.