When I was a young girl, I was often dragged along to hunt for arrowheads. The activity never prompted my sense of excitement. With my cowboy boots feeling heavy, I walked sluggishly behind my mother as I swatted mosquitoes, dabbed sweat beading on my forehead, and stared at the plowed up rows hoping to find an artifact. And, every so often, luck would strike.
“Mom! I found one!” I reached over and plucked the half-buried white and tan treasure from the dirt. Feeling light footed, I raced up to my mother, grinning in great pride. “Look! I found an arrowhead.”
Mom glanced in my 5-year-old-hand and patted my head. “That’s just a rock. But keep looking. You have good eyes, and I just know you will find one.”
Throughout the years, I did, rarely, find an arrowhead, and I remember those moments vividly. Thus, I am always astounded when I see collectors who have a large showcase of multiple arrowheads as I can only imagine how long it took to find them.
Since the majority of Native American artifacts are in private collections and not museums, they are displayed in various ways. (See article on page 90.) Years ago, many collectors stained a large sheet of plywood, tying arrowheads to the surface with old telephone wire. More recently, some house their impressive artifacts in neat shadow boxes, and others arrange them in glass-topped tables or a glass case, even using concentric circles of arrowheads for a creative touch.
For a different approach, consider covering an old pottery jar with natural clay as grout for adhering your collection of arrowheads and pottery. This approach will allow you the chance to show your display with an artistic flair. And, to embellish your collection, it might be time to hit some plowed-up fields following a good rain storm.