How Knives Were Used in Native American Culture

How Knives Were Used in Native American Culture

Although many people think of knives as a simple, useful tool, in Native American culture, knives are much more.

Knives were used in historical Native American Culture for a wide variety of purposes.

Knives were used as weapons in Native American history through battles with other tribes, outsiders, and to defeat prey while hunting. Two types of knives were typically used as well as stone clubs and tomahawks.

Primarily, knives were used as a reliable tool for hunting. Native Americans often used spears and lances during war battles.

Knives were typically worn around the neck or sheathed at the waist in handmade hide sheathes, often decorated with intricate designs and fringe.

Many knives were created by the Inuit and Eskimo people from ivory, bone, or copper. Some of these knives were used to prepare food and hides, and even building an igloo. As a weapon against others, knives were used only as a last resort. Native American tribal people made early knives from stone or bone. In the 1600s the arrival of the Spanish brought knowledge of metalworking and weapons began to be made using metal.

Here at Kachina House, we strive to bring you interesting and meaningful artifacts. Our knives are authentic Native American pieces handcrafted by Tohono O’odham, Navajo, Creek, and Cherokee artists.

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