Digging stick

Digging stick
Digging stick

In archaeology and anthropology a digging stick is the term given to a variety of wooden implements used primarily by subsistence-based cultures to dig out underground food such as roots and tubers or burrowing animals and anthills.[1] They may also have other uses in hunting, farming or general domestic tasks.

They are common to the Indigenous Australians but also other peoples worldwide and normally consist of little more than a sturdy stick which has been shaped or sharpened and perhaps hardened by being placed temporarily in a fire. It's a simple device, and has to be tough and hardy in order not to break.

In Mexico and the Mesoamerican region the digging stick was used for traditional agriculture such as for cultivating maize, and still is used for agriculture in some indigenous communities. It is known as a coa stick in this area and usually flares out into a triangle at the end. Some newer 20th century versions have added a little metal on the tip. Digging sticks were the most important agricultural digging tools used in Mesoamerica and throughout the ancient Americas.


  1. ^ The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Retrieved July 24, 2008, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/digging stick

2. http://www.mexicolore.co.uk/index.php?one=azt&two=art&tab=two&typ=reg&id=377 3. http://www.mexicolore.co.uk/index.php?one=azt&two=art&id=320&typ=reg

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • digging stick — /ˈdɪgɪŋ stɪk/ (say diging stik) noun a specially shaped stick used traditionally by Aboriginal women for digging for roots, yams, etc …   Australian English dictionary

  • digging stick —    Ō ō; ō ō hao (iron); āla a.    ♦ God of makers of digging sticks, Kū ka ō ō …   English-Hawaiian dictionary

  • digging stick — a pointed or spatulate wooden stick, sometimes having a stone weight or crossbar attached and used in primitive societies for loosening the ground to extract buried wild plant foods and for tilling the soil. [1860 65] * * * …   Universalium

  • digging stick — noun : a primitive agricultural implement consisting of a pointed stick sometimes weighted with a perforated stone or equipped with a crossbar upon which the digger steps …   Useful english dictionary

  • Digging — may refer to: A form of excavation Cave digging Clam digging Double digging, gardening technique Dump digging Gold digging Gold digging Gum digging Historical digging Privy digging Well digging Digging , a poem by Seamus Heaney See also All pages …   Wikipedia

  • stick —   1. Wood. Lā au.   Also: kū au, au au; pahu (staff); ko o.    ♦ Small sticks, la alā au.    ♦ Digging stick, ō ō, āla a.    ♦ Pointed stick, ō, ku ia.    ♦ Stick dancing, kāla au.    ♦ Carrying stick, auamo, amo kau, māmaka.    ♦ Stick for… …   English-Hawaiian dictionary

  • Throwing stick — The throwing stick is one of the first weapons used by early humans and cultures all around the world. In essence, it is a short stave or wooden club thrown as a projectile to hunt small game such as rabbits or waterfowl. In flight, it rotates… …   Wikipedia

  • yam stick — /ˈjæm stɪk/ (say yam stik) noun a long, pointed stick traditionally used by Aboriginal people in digging for yams …   Australian English dictionary

  • yam stick — noun : a hardwood stick three or four feet in length with edged or pointed ends used by the aboriginal women of Australia for digging (as roots or bulbs) …   Useful english dictionary

  • Charles Montague Cooke, Jr., House and Kuka'O'O Heiau — Charles Montague Cooke, Jr., House and Kūka‘ō‘ō Heiau U.S. National Register of Historic Places …   Wikipedia

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