Archer I'm really glad to have been able to add some useful information to the outstanding work you are doing on collecting outstanding examples of these weapons, and to see you have ordered the DVD. You are really putting together some comprehensive work on these tremendously esoteric weapons which will better present and preserve the history of them and the fascinating tribes who used them.
Tom, good observation and some of these do seem to have eyes, which would fall nicely into the totemic applications clearly present in these cultures, however these voluted features are stylized geometric devices it would seem. It is interesting that this type feature is indeed present on many early weapons in Europe back to the Hallstadt period and the swords with antenna or anthromorphic hilts.
Archer, as you note, this same basic voluted feature with reference to the 'rams horns'. This feature was well known in Celtic art as such, and actually became an integral component on many Scottish basket hilts at the connecting bars of the saltire plates, which are sometimes described as 'rams horns'. These are in varying shapes but with the same general voluted figure.
These kinds of details truly are tempting in wondering and imagining, just how far and through how much time these subtle forms and symbolisms along with many other aspects of anthropology might have travelled. While most scholarship insists that convergent evolution is the most likely view, we are constantly learning how much more globally connected these cultures and civilizations really were. It was much more networking and over long periods of time, but still the nuances of influence found thier way in diffusing far and wide.
Pepper, thank you for your kind comments, and thank you for sharing the beautiful photo! You are lucky to have grown up in one of the most picturesque and fascinating regions in the world. I have travelled some up there, but only as far as Puget Sound, and there one cannot help but being overwhelmed by the greenery and history of these American Indian cultures.
I look forward to going back one day, maybe when gas prices come down a little
I can get this rig back up there!
All the very best,