The Native Americans used products like stone, wood and jaw bones for the Indian weapons they used in warfare. The most common offensive weapon was the axe like weapon called the tomahawk. This group of Indian weapons is characterized by their axe like shape, light weight and slim line design, making them easy to carry around. Iron and steel tomahawks were usually made for the Indians by white men, in exchange for animal skins and various other goods.
Some tomahawks had a long handle that afforded the warrior who fought his opponents from horseback, a longer reach and a significant amount of protection from other warriors. Others had shorter handles, making them easier to manipulate quickly in one’s hand.
Unlike most warfare weapons, Indian weapons are colorful and intricately decorated by the Indians. Some may be covered with feathers, glass and wooden beaded designs, different types of leather, wool trading cloth, rabbit fur, tin, brass, copper and other materials that are likely to withstand harsh conditions like that of war. Bows, arrows, shields and more recently guns are also commonly found in reference to Indian weaponry. Each of these weapons has been used at some point for the purpose of protection and safety, be it against other people or dangerous animals that lurk around the Indian reservations. Although many types of weapons were used, the tomahawk is most popularly though of, as it is a unique and innovative idea that few have managed to follow, as weaponry is currently extremely heavy and bulky, but along with that comes a certain level of accuracy that wasn’t necessarily a bonus with Indian weapons.
Many people have found joy in collecting antique or remodeled Indian weapons, as their unique style and bright colors create a charming display in someone’s home. They are easy to come by in stores and markets, and occasionally one can find an artifact if they search in the right mines and landmarks for prior Indian colonies. Children and adults alike are overjoyed when they come across arrowheads and other fossilized pieces of bone that may be remains from Indians that once inhabited the land.
Joseph Paige © 2006