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Forum LockedNative American Swords

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Paul View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Native American Swords
    Posted: 11-Oct-2005 at 08:55

Whoever said the USA was a country without a sword.

Here's some beautiful 19th century blades from Alaska.

 

 

 

 

 



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Post Options Post Options   Quote Yiannis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Oct-2005 at 12:59
beautifull indeed, but are they Alaska made or imported?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jalisco Lancer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Oct-2005 at 13:42
really nice pictures indeed, Paul.
Thanks for sharing.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Oct-2005 at 15:12
Nice swords, yes.

What's the context? Did they buy the blades to European traders or had they started their own metalurgy? Were they used in actual combat or are just ceremonial or prestige objects? Which nation used them?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Oct-2005 at 17:37

American Indians had metallurgy for a long time, but tended to use it to make spearheads and tomohawks. In Alaska they seem to prefer to make swords. I think the designs show a fresh perspective on a very old and standardised piece of equipment elsewhere in the world. They were made by the Tlingit, I'll let you research their use.



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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tobodai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Oct-2005 at 15:19
yes and some iron technology was in the extreme northwest, including a suit of steppe influenced scale armor.  Its very likely that iron came through or from Siberia not too long ago.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ydinkäyttöinen Jousipyssy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Nov-2005 at 04:05

Northwest coast indians were most advanced indian metalworkers in north-america. Yes, daggers were used in combat.

From http://www.free-definition.com/Native-American-fighting-styl es.html :

Alaska Native

  • The Tlingit and Haida of Southeast Alaska were noted as fierce fighters by early European explorers, and had some notable victories against large Russian military expeditions. Armor made of rawhide and cedar slats was said to be able to stop Russian musket balls. Headgear included heavy solid wood helmets which could take axe blows without splitting, and which might be covered with copper sheathing to absorb blows and blunt blades. The typical method of fighting before the introduction of rifles involved eight to ten foot spears hafted with flint, obsidian, or copper blades that were used as polearms and were not thrown. These spears contrast with the ones used for hunting which were around twice as long and unwieldy in battle. Close fighting was done with double bladed daggers of bone, ivory, or copper which were worn around the neck as sidearms by most Tlingit and Haida freemen. Short bows held horizontally at the waist were also used for both hunting and battle. Slaves were ritually killed with a special club, other specialized clubs were used for fishing and hunting, and certain long, heavy clubs made of bone, ivory, slate, or fine-grained greenstone were used in battle. After the introduction of firearms the Tlingit and Haida people became excellent shots. Introduction of iron and steel were quickly adopted for the production of weapons, and the Sitka chief Katlian used a blacksmith's hammer while leading his famous battle against the Russians in Sitka, which is still on display there along with his helmet.
  • The Athabascans of Interior Alaska utilized spears hafted with bone, ivory, and stone, as well as knives, bows, and clubs. Little is known about their fighting techniques as they had little contact with Europeans before more modern times.
  • The Aleut of the Aleutian Islands in Southwest Alaska fought primarily with bows, although knives were also used for close fighting. Harpoons used in whaling and sealing might also be used in an emergency, although their use generally required more careful aim than might be available in the heat of battle. They readily adopted the Russian rifle alongside their indigenous bows, and both were used in battles against the Tlingit under Russian supervision.
  • The Alutiiq Eskimos of Southcentral Alaska and the Prince William Sound area used much the same techniques and weapons in battle as did the Aleuts, although their weapons are clearly more closely related to the Inupiat and Yup'ik Eskimos from whence they came.
weapons used: spears, bows, daggers, clubs

Arctic

  • Warriors in Arctic relied of the dog-sledge. Weapons were ornate, with feature elaborate and colorful designs and had feathers, and ivory. The Arctic armor was of high technical standards and artistry. Helmets usually possessed expressive grimacing faces (depicting terrifying animals or men). Warriors in the Arctic employed psychological warfare through their helmets. A thick face guard of bent wood just below the helmet protected the warriors, with a small gap for vision. Helmets were also used as crest hats (emblems of the family status). The noblemen warriors wore these helmets and wooden slat armor. With the introduction of firearms, the wooden armor became impractical.
weapons used: Bows, Shield, warclub. spears

West coast

  • Klamath Warrior's Head-Dress used material of tule stems woven by a twining process. Account of West coast' aggressive activities including intertribal conflicts and they did influence Spanish culture. Some West coast women warriors were renown for defending their communities.

 

Thats a great site for info about indian fighting



Edited by Ydinkäyttöinen Jousipyssy
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Post Options Post Options   Quote eaglecap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Nov-2005 at 18:42
Interesting but I will have to look further into this. The coastal tribes were Salish as far as I know and were quite war-like. I know the Spokan-e indians(Salish) were very peaceful though.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tommy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Dec-2005 at 15:46
These swords look like the sword of ancient China, at the period of Shang or Zhou dynasty. Some Chinese scholar stated that during the late Shang period, when the rebellious Zhou army crushed the shang, some shang people ast, set sail onto the sea, they crossed the Pacific and reached America. later some Shang noble men and their froends, Native of East china, revolt againes the Zhou. But they failed.. Chinese doucments stated that the the war, Ahou army destoryed the forests and the villages of the Native in East China, Native people moved North East,to America? Really? Any connection between the Alaska swords and the Native from East China
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Dec-2005 at 16:13
Well Shang and Zhou China is around 3-4000 years ago, these blades are from the 19th century so I would doubt it. The Alaskans had been in contact with the Russians for centuries and learnt swords and steel from them.
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