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Old 23rd March 2008, 09:31 PM   #1
katana
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Default Native American Weaponry

Hi All ,
due to a discussion on another thread, I thought it would an interesting idea for members to discuss and /or post native Indian weapons on a new thread. I'll admit my knowledge is limited ...but am willing to learn more. All information and comments would be gratefully received, thank you

Kind Regards David
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Old 24th March 2008, 02:10 AM   #2
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Default Recent Native American Knife

The clever use of old sheep shears was impressive. Sheep have been here for sometime ,read 100,000 head here in 1664. I'm hoping the logo which, I think reads Pound, a harder look maybe it's bouno, may be familiar to Forumites, it could have come from any English speaking country, or now italy. The beads caused some concern, until I looked closer they too appear fairly old the copper rivets and wire seem to have some age. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Steve

Further research shows older shears were in three pieces and riveted. It was puzzling how someone without tools made the holes in metal.
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Last edited by archer : 24th March 2008 at 06:11 AM.
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Old 24th March 2008, 03:22 AM   #3
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AN INTERESTING KNIFE MADE FROM A SHEEP SHEAR BLADE NO REAL WAY TO JUDGE AGE FROM PICTURES BUT YOU COULD CHECK UP ON THE TIME PERIOD THE COMPANY MAKEING THE SHEARS WAS IN BUSINESS AND WHERE LOCATED AND WHERE ITEMS WERE SOLD, ECT. THE OTHER THINGS TO CHECK IS WEAR AND WHAT TYPE OF BEADS THEY ARE AND AGE AND DISTRIBUTION ECT.

5.MY FAVORITE (CHIPPIWA CHIEF WRINKLED MEAT)
4.VARIOUS NATIVE AMERICAN WEAPONS PLATE.
2. PENOPSCOT TRIBE 1940'S, 20 IN. LONG
1.WAR CLUB 22IN LONG X4.5 IN.W ,1.75IN THICK.
3. BUFFALOW BILL INDIAN SHOW CLUB, 28IN. LONG X7.5 IN BLADE
6.SOUIX STONE WAR CLUB, 26IN. LONG

FUNNY HOW IT SCRAMBLES UP THE ORDER OF YOUR PICTURES WHEN YOU POST. NUMBERS CHANGED TO ORDER OF ITEMS EDIT
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Old 24th March 2008, 01:09 PM   #4
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I wonder what a modern dermatologist would call the Chief's condition?

I see Native American clubs on occasion at general antique shows in this region (Iroquois). Usually they are sky-high expensive and while many appear to be quite nice, I have little or no sense of which ones are treasures and which ones are forgeries.
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Old 24th March 2008, 04:44 PM   #5
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Default penobscot tribe wooden war clubs

THE PENOBSCOT TRIBE WAS LOCATED ALONG THE COASTS OF MAINE UP INTO CANADA AND WERE PART OF THE NORTHEASTERN WOODLANDS TRIBES. DESPITE MANY HARDSHIPS DURING THE EUROPEAN INVASION ,FRENCH AND INDIAN WARS AND THE USUAL EPIDEMICS OF SMALLPOX, ECT AND TREATY VIOLATIONS THE TRIBE STILL SURVIVES. THEY HAVE A SMALL MUSEUM YOU CAN VISIT OR LOOK UP (PENOBSCOT NATION MUSEUM)
THEY MADE SOME INTERESTING WARCLUBS OUT OF THE ROOTSTOCK OF SMALLER TREES WHICH HAVE A DISTINCTIVE CARVING STYLE INCORPORATING THE USE OF THE NATURAL FORM OF THE ROOT TO DEPICT ANIMAL SHAPES AS WELL AS ADDING CHIP CARVING DESIGNS AND SOMETIMES FACES. SOME HAVE PIGMENTS OR PAINTS APPLIED ALSO THEY GENERRALY RANGE IN SIZE FROM 17 IN TO 39INCHES LONG. THEY ARE STILL MADE AND I SUSPECT WERE SOLD TO TOURISTS AS SOUVINEERS ALONG WITH BASKETS AND OTHER NATIVE CRAFTS FOR A LONG TIME AND TO THE PRESENT. THERE ARE EVIDENTLY LOTS OF COLLECTORS OR AT LEAST ONE WITH LOTS OF CASH AND HUNDREDS OF CLUBS AS I HAVE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO AQUIRE ONE FOR MY COLLECTION. I WILL INCLUDE SOME PICTURES OF ONES I MISSED ON EBAY FOR REFRENCE.
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Old 24th March 2008, 04:52 PM   #6
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Outstanding thread you have started here David!!! and like you, I really would like to learn more on the weapons of the American Indians. Now here is ethnographic study close to home! as I sit in the middle of Texas and hope to be heading toward the northern plains soon.

Vandoo, I thought you might come through with some examples, especially with your location in Oklahoma! Still have visions of you wearing that war bonnet Nice examples too. I would really like to learn more on the use of the tacks in varying motif , especially on the rifles. I think that there was most definitely symbolism, though later becoming decorative motif.

LOL! good one Lee on the rather weathered looking old chief there. I think the dermatalogical term would be '40 miles of bad road'! The war clubs seem the most commonly appearing items, and I must believe of course that many, if not most, are likely 'promotional'.

Archer, that is a most interesting example knife, and classic example of how American Indians utilized frontier implements to fashion them. This does seem of late 19thc. to early 20th c. just guessing by apparant age of elements. It would be interesting to know the region of probable provenance, which might lend more to possible tribal groups, but it would likely be difficult to guage since it is simply made for practical use and not following a certain style.
The trademark might reveal the origin of the shears of course, and it would probably take some research into development and makers of those implements.

It really is good to see the positive response on this topic, and I hope more will develop. One of the things I found intriguing, as always, is the symbolism found in marking weapons, which seems closely related to similar interpretation on utility items, the horse, tipis, and of course in times, the personal body and facial marking. I would like to learn more on this, and hope we can add detail on the subject as more items are posted.

All best regards,
Jim
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Old 24th March 2008, 05:00 PM   #7
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Default PENOBSCOT CLUBS CONTINUED

A FEW MORE EXAMPLES
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Old 24th March 2008, 05:14 PM   #8
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Hi,
thank you all for your contributions ...its greatly appreciated
Vandoo, your input has been outstanding

Realising the rarity of very old iron/steel weapons ..... except those with 'trade' blades, axe heads etc. I have been researching the possible 'lack' of iron smelting/working in the America's pre-Columbus.
Although there were many iron ore deposits and vast wooded areas that could provide the charcoal to 'fire' the furnaces, most experts had agreed that iron smelting was unknown to the Native Indians.

However, more evidence has been unearthed that this may be incorrect ...it would seem some tribes did have possible 'access' to the technology required to produce iron/steel. It seems that this 'art' could have been adopted from very early Indo /European settlers..... as the design of the furnaces are identical to those found in Europe during the late iron age. However, this is controversial as others believe that copper casting occurred at this site.(Spruce Hill)

Spruce Hill is one such site....
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...CWcAsa3l4&hl=en

The use of copper for weapons etc. pre-Columbus is also 'hotly' contested ... however metallurgists are becoming more convinced that copper casting was occurring approx. 1000 BC

http://www.iwaynet.net/~wdc/copper.htm

It would seem that for a number of reasons metal smelting/working was not common to the various Indian tribes. Perhaps due to the nomadic/semi nomadic lifestyles of many of the tribes the amount of effort to construct furnaces etc that would have been only temporarily used was not cost effective in terms of time and resources. The nomadic lifestyle was due to the need to follow/find food sources at differing times of the year. Finding sources of iron ore would not be a priority.

The effectiveness of flint blades/spearheads/arrowheads perhaps were adequate enough for their needs ...that iron/steel equivalents were deemed unnecessary. The prime weapon/hunting tool tended to be the bow, their skill as archers meant that the 'knapped' flint arrowheads were greatly effective due to their accuracy ...after they were known to take down adult Bison with arrows and spears.....no mean feat.

Inter-tribal conflict saw the increase of weaponry diversity, the flint axe evolved into the fighting Tomahawk with either flint stone or bone heads and later copper/iron/ steel. Designed for close quarter fighting or thrown when appropriate. Wooden clubs of various types, some studded with flint were of course common. The gun stock club IMHO is very interesting. Because of the relatively slow re-loading of a musket, early colonists resorted to use the stock as a club. The Indians must have seen this as an effective design and adopted it. Also, I can find no evidence of any type of sword used by the Indians, metal or otherwise even though early settlers would have pocessed them.

Whilst searching the net for info. I found this....not related to weaponry ...but thought it relevant to the thread...

http://kowincidence.blogspot.com/20...ce_archive.html

Regards David

Last edited by katana : 24th March 2008 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 24th March 2008, 05:18 PM   #9
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Default MORE PENOBSCOT CLUBS

HERE ARE THE LAST OF THE EXAMPLES, IT SHOULD GIVE A GOOD RANGE OF THE TYPE FOR REFRENCE.
I HAVE GIVEN UP ON WINNING ONE ON EBAY SO WILL NOW DON MY WAR BONNET AND GO OUT DIGGING UP TREE ROOTS AND CARVE MY OWN.
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Old 24th March 2008, 06:35 PM   #10
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Here are various clubs ..from an Anthropological site ,all late 19th C ..... the diversity is amazing...


1 SIOUX
2 IROQUOIS
3 UPPER MISSISSIPPI RIVER
4 THOMPSON RIVER
5 NOOTKA
6 THOMPSON RIVER
7 ARAPAHO
8 SHOSHONI

Number 4 certainly seems to be a representation of a sword/machete

Regards David
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Old 24th March 2008, 07:27 PM   #11
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as someone mentioned that they have not seen evidence of native american swords, i note that the aztec used the macahuitl, a flat wooden 'sword' edged with obsidian, there have been notations by the spaniards that it was capable of beheading a horse.


northwestern tribes have examples of copper daggers, north american aztec and incas from the southern americas were using metal tools, but obsidian was so much sharper and easier to work that chipped stone use carried on into historic eras. without the infrastructure to find,mine, prepare, smelt, cast, and finish metal, stone can be chipped by just about anyone trained for a short time.

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Old 24th March 2008, 07:57 PM   #12
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Here are some pictures of reproductions of maya weapons that I have taken some years ago in a museum in Guatemala. The stone head maces and the obsidian blades-flakes are original.
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Old 24th March 2008, 10:36 PM   #13
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Default SOUTH AMERICAN PRE-COLUMBIAN EDGED WEAPONS

I WILL POST SOME PICTURES OF REPLICA MATACUDAL WEAPONS CURRENTLY BEING MADE.
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Old 31st March 2008, 04:45 PM   #14
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I just spent a few days out in the Mojave desert near an old Native American quarry site, and ran across this hammerstone and associated flakes on the ground – the tool or weapon the guy was working on got carried away, but the evidence of it’s manufacture has remained as he left it for 500? 1000? years.
Also, a display of surface projectile point finds from a small area in Eastern Nevada…tracing the evolution of point technology for about 14,000 years
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Old 31st March 2008, 08:24 PM   #15
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MOST NATIVE AMERICAN WEAPONS AND TOOLS WERE STONE, BONE AND WOOD AS THESE MATERIALS WERE READILY AVAILABLE , AND FAST AND EASY TO WORK. THEY COULD ALSO BE MADE BY ONE INDIVIDUAL AND DID NOT REQUIRE LARGE NUMBERS OF THE PEOPLE TO MAKE, EVEN THOUGH IT WAS OFTEN REQUIRED FOR A LARGE GROUP TO TRAVEL TO A DISTANT AREA TO GATHER THE RAW MATERIALS SUCH AS FLINT OR CERTIAN TYPES OF STONES.
HAVING SAID THAT THEY DID WORK IN METALS, THE LARGEST SCALE WORK BEING DONE IN SOUTH AND MID. AMERICA. SILVER AND GOLD, COPPER AND BRONZE ARTEFACTS HAVE BEEN FOUND. MOST OF THE METAL WORK IN NORTH AMERICA SEEMS TO BE COPPER.
METAL WORK REQUIRES A SOURCE TO MINE ORE AND LOTS OF WORKERS TO DIG, SMELT AND FORM IT AS WELL AS MANY TO SUPPLY FUEL FOR THE FIRES. MOST NORTH AMERICAN TRIBES LIVED A MORE SIMPLE LIFE AND DID NOT HAVE THE ORGANIZATION OR NEED FOR SUCH TECKNOLOGY. A FEW EXAMPLES.

1. PRECOLUMBIAN GOLD
2. CHIMU, INCA SILVER BEAKER 11.8IN. TALL
3.COPPER DECAPATATOR 6IN.
4. BRONZE MACE HEAD 4IN. DIA, VICUS CULTURE
5. TWO BRONZE, VICUS MACE HEADS
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Old 9th April 2008, 07:26 PM   #16
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Default PRECOLUMBIAN STONE MACE

IN SOUTH AND MID AMERICA THEY ALSO USED STONE MACE HEADS SOME OF WHICH WERE OF THE EFFIGY TYPE AND QUITE NICE. MOST OF THESE ARE FROM AROUND 200 TO 700 B.C. THE TWO RED ONES ARE SALINDAR MACE HEADS, THREE OF THE OTHERS ARE SAID TO BE CHAVIN CULTURE. THE OTHERS ARE LISTED AS COMING FROM COSTA RICA BUT I DON'T KNOW FROM WHAT CULTURE.
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Old 9th April 2008, 08:29 PM   #17
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Thanks Vandoo,
these are fantastic examples

Regards David
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Old 11th July 2012, 01:52 AM   #18
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Default Here's a nice Penobscot that I used to own

Really regret having sold this piece. Late 18th -early 19th C.
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