HomeNewsArticle Display

Transportation troop is caught 'knapping'

OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM (AFPN) -- People on deployment find many ways to pass the time. Some chip away at calendars marking the days left until they return home. For Staff Sgt. Barry Hester, a special purpose vehicle mechanic with the 384th Expeditionary Logistics Squadron, it is chipping away at stones.

Hester, from the 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., spends his spare time here in pursuit of the fine art of flintknapping: the primitive technology of chipping stone into arrowheads, tomahawks, jewelry and other objects.

"When I came here, I didn't bring my tools," said the native of Selma, Ala. "I really didn't think I would have a place to do it.

However, after arriving, Hester's love of his hobby was too great not to continue. It did not take long for him to ask someone back home to send him his flintknapping tools.

Traditional flintknapping tools are made of natural materials such as hammer-stones, antler or wooden billets and punches, and are used to flake or chip away the stone to a desired shape.

Hester's love of the art began early.

"It all started as a kid growing up in Alabama when I would find arrowheads from time to time," he said. "When I was about 13 years old I got serious about collecting.

His collection came with him into the Air Force.

While stationed in England, Hester heard about an archeological showing where primitive artifacts from the Stone Age to Roman Empire were being exhibited.

"There was a special exhibit on stone artifacts where a guy told me all about flintknapping," he said.

Hester's curiosity was piqued. The man told him to check the Internet and join a forum. There he gained a wealth of knowledge about the art of flintknapping.

"From there the rest is history," he said. "I talked to others who knew about it, ordered tools and started doing it all the time. I've been doing it for about three years now."

Now Hester's hobby follows him everywhere the Air Force sends him. Often with his face to the ground, he searches for an allusive arrowhead or the perfect piece of flint.

"I like all kinds of primitive technology," said Hester who also uses natural fibers to make rope and learned how to start fires using a bow. "I enjoy learning as much as I can about primitive technologies, things like building snares, living off the land. Things like that interest me."

But knapping is his focus. The majority of his spare time is spent on his hobby.

"Basically I like the challenge," he said. "I enjoy making nice things with my hands. I don't make things for myself, I give most of them away. I've made about 200 pieces and most everyone I know has one. I do it mainly because of the craftsmanship involved in making these things and the challenge it presents."

Hester uses a variety of tools, many of which are patterned after the ones used by a Native American known as Ishi.

Ishi, the last surviving member of the Yahi Indian tribe, lived at the Anthropology Museum of the University of California in San Francisco in 1911 where he shared his knowledge about his culture and beliefs with anthropologists.

"That's where we get a lot of what we know today about flintknapping," said Hester.

One of the tools Hester uses in called an "Ishi stick," a long stick with prongs on either end used to chip shards of stone away to make arrowheads.

"When I'm not flintknapping, I'm hunting for rock or arrowheads, or teaching others about flintknapping."

Hester says it takes him about two hours to make a point. "Every time I sit down to knap I learn something new."

He also enjoys makeing jewelry using primitive technologies.

"I think it's my desire to learn that drives my interest in knapping," said Hester. "It's an art form. It's like when an artist is making a picture. It's another way people express themselves."

Engage

Twitter
Thunderbirds, bombers, fighter jets fly over city of Boston on Fourth of July https://t.co/Td08zVocnI
Twitter
The @USDA partners w/ Andersen AFB to prevent the spread of the invasive brown tree snake. USDA & their detection d… https://t.co/aFCE3kmSwP
Twitter
RT @nbcwashington: Watch Live: The U.S. Air Force band is celebrating the Fourth of July with a concert performance at Joint Base Andrews.…
Twitter
RT @AFThunderbirds: Airborne! Happy birthday, America! 🇺🇸 Boston - 4:00 NYC - 5:00 Philly - 5:15 Baltimore - 5:30 D.C. - 7:00 *All times…
Twitter
RT @EsperDoD: We must never forget the millions of men and women who dedicate their lives to the founding document that secures our liberty…
Twitter
Check out @307BombWing's new mission video! 📹 U.S. Air Force video by Airman 1st Class Celeste Zuniga #ReadyAFhttps://t.co/Sss9me5QEt
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: We're the land of the free because of the brave. Happy #IndependenceDay from your Air National Guard! #4thofJuly🇺🇸 (Phot…
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: Wherever you’re safely celebrating #IndependenceDay, take time out to remember the fight, not for the individual liberty…
Twitter
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Happy #IndependenceDay, Airmen! Please take this weekend to reflect on what it means to be an Airman, and your contrib…
Twitter
On July 4, 1776, 56 men signed a document declaring their views and beliefs on how people should be governed. It wa… https://t.co/oIOjOZXtsk
Twitter
RT @EsperDoD: America remains a beacon of hope for freedom, democracy, prosperity, and peace. https://t.co/JI6WZLdspV
Twitter
RT @cmsaf18: Today is more than just fireworks & barbecues. Today we reaffirm... “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men ar…
Twitter
RT @EsperDoD: On #IndependenceDay, I’m grateful for our nation, its laws and liberties, and the devotion of the men and women who guard the…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Happy Independence Day! On our Nation’s birthday, thank you to all of the @USAirForce #Airmen and @SpaceForceDoD #Spac
Twitter
"God Bless the U.S.A." is one of America's most iconic songs, featuring @TheLeeGreenwood, @HomeFreeGuys, & the Sing… https://t.co/yhH2eClYNN
Twitter
#DYK The F-16 can fly more than 500 miles, deliver its weapons w/superior accuracy, defend itself against enemy air… https://t.co/l4xKvURpvn
Twitter
RT @DOD_Outreach: LIVE: #ThePresidentsOwn @marineband performs a Friday Evening Parade @MBWDC. https://t.co/UdcZeplGzr
Twitter
A B-2 Spirit assigned to @Whiteman_AFB receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to @RAFMildenhall. The mis… https://t.co/BWKVEUbhYR
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,247,036
Follow Us