The Tomahawk (With Video)
The name Tomahawk was used by the Algonquian Tribe of Virginia. In other parts of the county the Tomahawk was generally referred to as a hatchet. The tomahawk had many uses and was considered to be irreplaceable by those who used them. They were used for everything from chopping, digging, hammering and cleaning and hunting game: to hand to hand combat and as throwing weapons.
The early tomahawks were made of stone, with one edge or two edges sharpened. The stone was fastened to a wooden handle in various ways, such as by putting the stone into a hole through the wood, tying the stone to a handle with thongs, or splitting the handle and tying it about the stone with thongs.
After the arrival of the European traders the stone implements were rapidly replaced by European-manufactured steel versions called trade tomahawks since they were used as a trade good. Some tomahawks were equipped with a pipe bowl and a hollow stem, used for smoking. The ceremonial tomahawk usually was richly decorated with feathers and paint.
The main thing about the tomahawk is they are still readily available. inexpensive as useful and as fun today as they were then. Do yourself a favor and pick one up to use on the trail. I can assure you that it will not be your last and you will amass several in your collection, and will find them as irreplaceable as our forefathers did. Cold Steel Makes a great line of tomahawks and other products. If you are looking to obtain one I would check with them first.
Copyright © 2010 by Steven L. Doran
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