Throwing Knives

Throwing knives are a unique concept of Indian warfare and battle.  Although most other cultures have used some form of knife technique when engaging in battle, the design and purpose of the Indian throwing knives are individual and unlike other uses. 

The throwing knife is unique in the sense that it is extremely light in weight and a great deal smaller than traditional knives used for hunting and battle purposes.  Whereas most swords are several feet long, Indian throwing knives are measured in inches based on the blade length.  The handle is thin and sometimes decorated with tribal designs, and the blade is typically in a wide teardrop form although some are in other shapes with sharp edges like stars.  The teardrop shape is often associated with the Indian culture, and the stars often associated with Asian fighting styles.  These knives are notorious for their bright silver blades and black or silver handles.

During warfare, Indians used the throwing knives to defend themselves against invaders and enemies.  This was a brilliant and radical development in self defense, as they didn’t have to come close to the enemy in battle.  The knives could be used to accurately pin a target from up to thirty feet away, allowing the Indians the opportunity to remain hidden while defending themselves, instead of putting their life in a line of danger.  The knives were also used for practical purposes like breaking open hard shells on food such as coconut and melons.

Although the throwing knives are no longer used in war, their legends continue and they are frequently used for training purposes in the military and police force.  They are also used for decoration of Native American themes or hung unsharpened on walls in peoples’ homes.  Because of the fact that the knives are lightweight and made from easily accessible materials, they are sold at an inexpensive cost, often less than ten dollars for a set of three.  These knives can be found in many sword retailers, lighter shops, and other Native American outlet stores, and most of them accurately replicate the knives that were actually used in battle.  They are easy to care for, and stay bright and hold then shine as long as they are polished frequently with a soft cloth.  Indian throwing knives are a perfect way to add authenticity and uniqueness to any Native American display.

Joseph Paige 2006

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