In the story No Country For Old Men, Sheriff Bell tells about a dream he had of his father. Riding past him in the cold, snowy winter, "I seen he was carryin fire in a horn the way people used to do and I could see the horn from the light inside of it...I knew...that he was fixin to make a fire somewhere..."
His father was practicing an old tradition passed by the Native Indians to the cowboys where they would "carry the embers from the fire of one camp to the next in an animal horn" (Buster).
In ancient times, matches or modern fire starters did not exist. A brazier of burning coals from somewhere else was often used to light the household fire.
If the fire went out, a house member would take the empty brazier, usually on their head, to a neighbor's house to borrow some coals of fire.
The borrower would get a heaping pile of burning coals if the neighbor was generous. The ancient Proverbs of Solomon encourage this kind of generosity:
If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you. Proverbs of Solomon 25:21