In Call It Courage, how did Mafatu start his fire?

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In the third chapter, entitled "The Island", Mafatu found "a firestick to his liking; a piece of hard wood, bone-dry, as large around as his forearm".  Propping the wood against a rock, he squatted, and rubbed a smaller stick of the same material back and forth until a groove formed on the large stick and a pile of wood dust gathered at one end of the groove..  He moved the stick faster and faster until finally a wisp of smoke and a glowing spark was emitted.  Quickly grabbing a handful of dry twigs, Mafatu cupped his hand and blew on the spark, and a flame burst into life.  Mafatu had made a fire.

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