Drawing of wahiloskóˀs (Quirt), Nez Perce Elk Antler

A technical drawing by Kevin Peters of an an Elk Antler Quirt (whip) in the Wetxuuwíitin’ Collection

We [the Nez Perce National Historic Park] had that, the quirt, we had that thing for nearly 20 years before KevinPetersfigured out when he took it and was drawing it, there's a little metal thing on there that people thought was a quill. A tip for a pen. But when we looked at it real closely, we realized that it was, it's the brass socket that's at the end of, when you have a ramrod in a pistol or a rifle, it's the one that the end of the ramrod goes into. So it's the one on the stock that's closest to the trigger. So somebody got that and put it on their quirt... Kevin has just done an absolutely wonderful job of showing you what that thing looks like through the eyes of an artist, but also through the eyes of a technical illustrator. I mean, you can't see in a photograph what Kevin has drawn. Because the marks on there, the decorative marks on there don't always show up in a photograph unless you're concentrating on that." Bob Chenoweth, retired National Park Service Curator

Traditional Knowledge: 

"The Nez Perce people made special designed quirts (whip[s]) out of animal parts, such as antlers, or [the] carved wood of trees or brush. They became part of his or her horse. Each quirt, with the design, had a significant meaning to the owner and his horse. It was a special tool that he/she carried during the long family travels and for the hunter or warrior who, at times, depended on the speed of his horse. The importance of a quirt was treated in the same manner as a weapon." Allen Slickpoo Sr. 1995