Native American Spears

For many Native American tribes warfare was equally a physical and spiritual experience. Their choices of weaponry included clubs, hatchets, bows and arrows, spears, lances and knives. The Native American spears had shafts made of wood while the tips could be metal copper in particular. Flint and obsidian were the other materials used to craft the tip of Native American spears. The material used for the tip of the spear varied depending upon the area where the tribes lived. The length of spears used in battle was around eight to ten feet. Those used for hunting were twice this length and hence, unsuitable for battle. 

As other methods of warfare gained popularity the Native American spears became more symbolic than useful. Some spears used for ceremonial purposes or in dances are decorated with leather and feathers. The braves had their own customized spears. Another use for the Native American spears was for fishing in the many lakes and streams. Winter and spring were the best times for this kind of spear fishing. A tip with three prongs was used to catch the smaller fish. In spring spear fishing was done at night while in winter it was more like the ice fishing we see today. But not all tribes practiced spear fishing.

Today, many people have Native American spears in their homes as decorative pieces. There are many organizations working for the tribes that supply original, handcrafted products like spears, masks and blankets. Another place to find authentic Native American goods are the many powwows that are held regularly at different venues all over the country. Buying at  these places ensures that you are getting original stuff for a reasonable price since there is no need for middlemen. While buying online or through stores, you end up paying extra in the form of the retailer’s cut of the profits.

Joseph Paige 2006

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