Japanese American and friend sifting for shells

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ddr-densho-2-59 (Legacy UID: denshopd-p2-00059)

Bain Collection

Patsy Yorita (left) and Neal Frost, (son of a teacher at the Tule Lake concentration camp), sift dirt for shells. The shells were used by people in the camp to make jewelry. Tule Lake was drained in the early 1900s. The camp was located on the old lake bed, where people found shells for making jewelry to sell to camp personnel. Shells were scarce, and digging became competitive. To beat the rush, some people got up at sunrise and dug waist-deep holes in order to find the shells. Some had homemade wire sieves for sifting the sand.


Still Image


Courtesy of the Bain Family Collection

Copyright restricted
Copyright restricted