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The Old Stone, New Stone And Metal Ages

( Originally Published 1928 )



THE people of northern countries were obliged to wear the skins of wild animals for body covering, as weaving and spinning were unknown arts. The inhabitants of warmer climates utilized dried grass in the making of kilts; strung necklaces of teeth, stones, etc., about the shoulders, and adorned themselves with crudely wrought armlets and anklets. Even a clumsy, bulky piece of fur can be artistically draped; doubtless the flapper of the Old Stone Age wore hers with a certain chic and knew the latest edict of fashion as to length.

Leather thongs were used to hold the fur in place. As all early people were obliged to spend much time in hunting and fighting, freedom of the body was arbitrary; therefore, all barbaric races left the right arm and shoulder unhampered by clothing.

The earliest foot-covering was a piece of fur, roughly gathered about the ankle by means of a leather thong.

Scrapers for preparing skins, large bone needles, hollowed stones, evidently used as mortars for grinding col-ors with which to paint the body, flints, spears, heavy clubs, slings and bags of leather containing stones, have been found in ancient caves.

All barbarians are fond of personal ornamentation; besides rough jewelry in its usual forms, the ears and under lip were probably decorated with teeth and bits of bone in a manner identical with that practiced by savages of today, to whom, undoubtedly, this fad of the caveman has descended.

Movie comedies picturing the prehistoric man are familiar ; Larry Semon, Buster Keaton and others have been seen in the costume just described, while Leon Errol and Harry Kelly were sartorially correct in their caveman sketch in "The Century Girl," save for the comic anachronism of Kelly's high hat.

Relics of the New Stone Age are found on all continents, among them being the spindle-whorl, which proves that the arts of spinning and weaving were known. Crude garments of wool and flax were worn in Europe, and very likely cotton fabrics in India, all local products.

The Metal Age, during which copper, bronze and iron came into use, began nearly four thousand years before Christ. Improvement in materials and ornamentation followed.



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