This copper alloy wick trimmer was part of the ritual offering placed in at the base of a deep cooking pit (see House of the Curandera). Eighteenth-century candlewicks were made of twisted cotton yarn and would not burn up completely, thus the resulting embers would fall and create a fire hazard if not trimmed. Fragments of wick trimmers have been recovered from colonial period archeological sites in Texas such as Mission Dolores, Mission San SabĖ†, and Mission Rosario. The Los Adaes specimen, however, is intact except for one broken handle loop. Even so, it was still quite functional when it was deliberately buried at the base of the pit. Candles are a common element in folk healing rituals.
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