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Shoto Clay


Some interesting artifacts were found on Sauvie island in and around the remains of the Indian Villages. The same type of artifacts were found near Vancouver Lake at the site of another Indian village. This area would have been accessible to Sauvie Island because of the river.


Found were figurines, shards from what might have been bowls, etc that had actually been molded and fired. Intricate carvings were noticed on some of the artifacts. It appears that bones from small birds were used, fingernails and other items such as pointed stones, etc. Small shells were embedded in some of the pieces. Not in a random fashion but applied to signify specific things, such as noses, cheeks, decoration on the chest, etc. Pieces of clay were used to build noses and other features.


The Indians say that many years ago there was a shipwreck near Neakahnie mountain in Tillamook County. One of the Spanish sailors named Shoto was captured and kept as a slave by the local Indians. He was later sold to the Indians of the lower Columbia. He taught them how to form and fire the clay objects.


Maybe this was the same shipwreck that left the beeswax on Neakahnie Mountain.

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