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American Indian Weapons

A blend of innovation and artistry, American Indian weapons reflected a means of protection, resource for hunting, and vehicle for the decorative arts. From finely honed arrowheads to beaded and painted war clubs, American Indian weapons highlight the rich history of these cultures and the ways in which they hunted and defended themselves.

Rudimentary weapons have accompanied humans since their earliest days on the planet. Basic clubs, axes, and spears were used by humankind’s earliest ancestors and were honed from easily accessible materials. As time progressed, weaponry became more refined and more elegant, with decorative motifs and inlaid metals accentuating the handles of bows, hilts of swords, and the sheaths of knives.

American Indians added to this decorative tradition with elaborate painting and beadwork designs, creating beaded handles that often culminated in a matching beaded pendant. Such decoration was often used to commemorate achievements in the field of battle, or included as a symbol of the strength and perseverance of the owner. Today, antique American Indian weapons serve as a reminder of their strength as well as a reflection of artistic expertise.


Quick Facts

  • The oldest documented spear discovered in North America dates to roughly 11,000 B.C. The spear, featuring a fluted tip, has archaeologists rethinking connections between prehistoric and American Indian cultures
  • The axe known as the "tomahawk" was derived directly from American Indian culture. A weapon developed by the Algonquin tribe of predominately northeastern North America, the name itself is a 17th-century Spanish iteration of an Algonquin term for the weapon
  • An Apache painted hide shield appeared in early 2015 at auction at Sotheby’s New York. The shield sold for $62,000, one of the highest prices for such an artifact

Recommended Items at Auction

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EARLY ARAPAHO BEADED SHEATH & CARVED BUFFALO BONE HANDLE TRADE KNIFE
Jun 09, 9:00 AM MST
EARLY ARAPAHO BEADED SHEATH & CARVED BUFFALO BONE HANDLE TRADE KNIFE
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$18015 Bids
Clovis Lifelong Collection of Jason Curtis from Nelson County Kentucky
May 26, 1:00 PM CDT
Clovis Lifelong Collection of Jason Curtis from Nelson County Kentucky
by Mike Nichols Auctions
Est: $1,000- $20,000
$12011 Bids
(8) Arrowheads Indian Relics
Jun 22, 9:30 AM EDT
(8) Arrowheads Indian Relics
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$1508 Bids
Cherokee N.C., Daniel Hall Pennington Gap., Dirk
Jun 22, 9:30 AM EDT
Cherokee N.C., Daniel Hall Pennington Gap., Dirk
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$1758 Bids
Texas Point Indian Artifact Arrowhead
Jun 23, 1:00 PM CDT
Texas Point Indian Artifact Arrowhead
by Mike Nichols Auctions
Est: $1,000- $20,000
$455 Bids
(2) Clovis Points
Jun 22, 9:30 AM EDT
(2) Clovis Points
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$1755 Bids
(2) Clovis Points
Jun 22, 9:30 AM EDT
(2) Clovis Points
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$1255 Bids
(2) Large Turkey Tail Flints
Jun 22, 9:30 AM EDT
(2) Large Turkey Tail Flints
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$705 Bids
Cherokee Indian Made Painted and Carved War Axe
Jun 22, 9:30 AM EDT
Cherokee Indian Made Painted and Carved War Axe
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$1004 Bids
Lot of Arrowheads Indian Relics
Jun 22, 9:30 AM EDT
Lot of Arrowheads Indian Relics
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$604 Bids
Blade H.B. Trade Knife
Jun 22, 9:30 AM EDT
Blade H.B. Trade Knife
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$1254 Bids
Dalton Indian Artifact Arrowhead
Jun 23, 1:00 PM CDT
Dalton Indian Artifact Arrowhead
by Mike Nichols Auctions
Est: $1,000- $20,000
$303 Bids
Dalton Indian Artifact Arrowhead
Jun 23, 1:00 PM CDT
Dalton Indian Artifact Arrowhead
by Mike Nichols Auctions
Est: $1,000- $20,000
$303 Bids
Smith Indian Artifact Arrowhead
Jun 23, 1:00 PM CDT
Smith Indian Artifact Arrowhead
by Mike Nichols Auctions
Est: $1,000- $20,000
$303 Bids
Eccentric Indian Artifact Arrowhead
Jun 23, 1:00 PM CDT
Eccentric Indian Artifact Arrowhead
by Mike Nichols Auctions
Est: $1,000- $20,000
$203 Bids
INDIAN HEAD and STONE LOT
Jun 09, 10:30 AM EDT
INDIAN HEAD and STONE LOT
by Farrin's country Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$503 Bids
Painted Indian War Arrow
Jun 22, 9:30 AM EDT
Painted Indian War Arrow
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$403 Bids
Clovis
May 26, 1:00 PM CDT
Clovis
by Mike Nichols Auctions
Est: $1,000- $20,000
$303 Bids
(3) Flint Ridge Arrowheads
Jun 22, 9:30 AM EDT
(3) Flint Ridge Arrowheads
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$603 Bids
Clovis Lifelong Collection of Jason Curtis from Nelson County Kentucky
May 26, 1:00 PM CDT
Clovis Lifelong Collection of Jason Curtis from Nelson County Kentucky
by Mike Nichols Auctions
Est: $1,000- $20,000
$253 Bids
TRAY OF 10- ASST. NATIVE AMERICAN POINTS
May 27, 11:00 AM EDT
TRAY OF 10- ASST. NATIVE AMERICAN POINTS
by Lakelands Auction Service
Est: $0- $0
$253 Bids
NATIVE AMERICAN BOW AND ARROWS, QUIVER AND BOW
Jun 09, 10:00 AM EDT
NATIVE AMERICAN BOW AND ARROWS, QUIVER AND BOW
by Poulin Antiques & Auctions
Est: $600- $800
$3003 Bids
Bone Knife
May 26, 1:00 PM CDT
Bone Knife
by Mike Nichols Auctions
Est: $1,000- $20,000
$303 Bids
Tomohawk Pipe with Beaded Drop
May 26, 1:00 PM CDT
Tomohawk Pipe with Beaded Drop
by Mike Nichols Auctions
Est: $1,000- $20,000
$1103 Bids

Sellers Who Sell American Indian Weapons


Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer

Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer

TimeLine Auctions

TimeLine Auctions