Samples of microdrills, microblades, and microcores from the Powell Mound (11-Ms-46) and the Dunham tract (11-S-34/4) of the Cahokia site near St. Louis, and a small number of Jaketown perforators from the Poverty Point site, Louisiana, were examined for microwear traces, using the methods outlined by L. H. Keeley. Many archaeologists have assumed that the microdrills in the Cahokia microlithic industry were used by craft specialists to produce drilled disc beads and other items made from marine and freshwater shell. Microwear analysis of the Cahokia microdrills showed they were specialized tools, used almost exclusively to drill shell material, while the Jaketown perforators were used to drill a variety of materials. This alone does not establish the existence of craft specialization at Cahokia. The distribution of microdrills and shell artifacts at Cahokia and throughout the Cahokia settlement system on the American Bottom indicates shell craft production was not restricted to “guild areas.” The shell beads produced by the microdrills may have served as ritual tokens or currency as well as ornaments, but they were not necessarily produced by full-time specialists who were part of a state-level society.