The traditional container for oil and grease consists of a fish skin into which the oil is poured. It is sealed by tying off the opening or openings with sinew. The skin is obtained by cutting off the fish's head, peeling off the skin, and removing any adhering flesh. It is therefore normally inside-out, with the skin on the inside and the flesh side on the outside. In some cases the tail is left on so that it is only necessary to tie off the top. In other cases, the tail is cut off and it is necessary to tie off both the top and the bottom. A toos̲ is the same thing when used to store water rather than oil.
Etymology: A reduced compound of too ‟water” and z̲us̲ ‟skin, bag”. Compare k'as̲ ‟quiver, bullet pouch” and khes̲ ‟oil container”. Cognate to Western Apache toos ‟water skin, canteen”.
Related Words: Containers