Wood identification

Una Smith una at LANL.GOV
Mon Jun 4 17:48:27 CDT 2001

On Thu, May 31, 2001 at 04:32:39PM -0500, Karen Clary wrote:

>I would like to have the wood of an approximately 200 year old
>Karankawa Indian Bow [...] identified.  The wood is unusual in that
>it doesn't look like dicot hardwood, but rather a monocot [...]

In Amazonia, I have seen bows in use that are made of wood that
appears to be from Bactris, a palm.

To get a solid ID to species, examination by microscope may be
necessary, and having this done could require a lot of time or
else a little money.   Wood anatomists in the United States who
have extensive reference collections and are willing to do IDs
might be located by sending a query to IAWA.  Here's a pointer:


For starters, you might try an interactive multiple entry key to
commercial timbers, available on the Internet from


Happy hunting.

        Una Smith

Los Alamos National Laboratory, Mailstop K-710, Los Alamos, NM  87545

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