Ethnographic Arms & Armour

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fearn 4th May 2012 11:04 PM

More from the AMNH: Tlingit armor and clubs
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My cousins were somewhat sniffy about the Northwest Indian exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History. It is darkly lit, a bit dusty, and (as I understand it) the oldest hall in the museum. Not a place that really shows off New York all that well.

In other words, just the place to find something interesting. I've never seen some of these arms and armor before, so I'm just as happy that most people go for the more brightly lit halls.

Below, I've posted the pieces that surprised me the most:
--Tlingit armor, including the helmet. I've long had a soft spot for those crazy wooden Tlingit helmets, so seeing them was fun. I was surprised by the armor below, made of chinese coins sewn on leather. Evidently this is a post-contact piece.

--Tlingit weapons. Daggers, check. Slave-killing picks. Check. Big sword-shaped clubs, one of whalebone? Copper club with a toothed edge? A solid stone hand maul? These were new to me. These last two are at the bottom. That pole going across is a really neat spear with an iron head and a killer whale tail that proved impossible to photograph in one image.

Yes, the AMNH is definitely a fun place to visit.


Tim Simmons 5th May 2012 07:34 PM

Really cool. The big whale bone club, I give all my collection for, still probably not enough. The copper club look great too. Any idea who thick it is?

fearn 5th May 2012 08:59 PM

The copper club seemed to be at most 0.5-1 centimeter thick. The geometry of the case made it hard to see the shape of that piece.

I was also interested in seeing the teeth on those clubs. So far as I can tell, those teeth are there to concentrate the force of the attack on the tips of the teeth, rather than to cut per se. I suspect that the shark teeth on the Kiribatian weapons are there for similar reasons.



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