The term tomahawk is a derivative of the Algonquin word tamahak. It quickly became the common name for various types of axes used by natives, trappers and coureurs de bois. Shortly after the arrival of Europeans, the tomahawk stone head gave way to the metal axe heads offered by traders. They could be iron, brass, bronze or even copper and was primarily used for warfare.
Each European nation producing tomahawk heads for the Indian trade used its own pattern and making. However it was the Indian artisan who gave the tomahawk its growing glory with his beaded, carved, fur-covered, painted handles, and stately beaded tabs and appendages which were in perfect proportion and attached to the handle ends.
The Missouri war axe, a large, thin-bladed hatchet with a short handle, was favored by tribes along the great bend of the Missouri River. In 1612, William Strachey distinguished between and Indian Hatchet (stone axe or cunenagwas) and a hatchet (iron trade axe).
Learning from immigrant blacksmiths, Indians started to manufacture their own tomahawks using old gun barrels, horseshoes, and even worn out wagon rims. Meriwether Lewis describing his first impression of the Missouri War Axe.
Museum Quality Important Missouri Tomahawk. Original Missouri war axe originating from the Osage people.Original iron spontoon head with a very desirable lap weld on the blade. Tomahawks and axes made by blacksmiths at trading posts were hand forged, made from a single piece of iron, heated and folded over a mandrel to make an "eye" or hole for the handle and forge welded together. These axes are sometimes referred to as "Lap-weld" axes because a tempered steel bit was inset into the head creating a strong blade. I've seen old axe heads where the original bit was a cleft weld and the "replacement" was a lap weld. I picked up a hewing hatchet head at the fleamarket recently that looks to have a lap weld bit on it.
The head really shows its age with a nice patina. Very rare head in pristine condition. You can see the lap weld where the bit was inset and forged in place.
This is a good indicator of age and authenticity. The weeping heart cutout is hand cut and filed and looks incredible! The throat of the axe has some nice punch engravings around it. The ash wood stem/haft has a very nice look, typical of the 1800's, with many hot file brandings along its length.
There is an old period worm hole in the wood, another good indicator of age! Many old brass tacks decorate the haft, each tack is old with square shanks and a nice patina.
Typical teardrop shaped haft fitting securely into the eye of the axe head. The haft is strong and solid.See the picture for more information. The axe head is 7 1/4 long. The haft is 24 1/4 long. Thanks for reading this long description! I hate to sell this but my husband has long since passed away and I need to sell some of his collection to make ends meet. I just hope this goes to a good home, someone who will appreciate it. Good luck and God bless! The item "Original Osage Indian Missouri War Axe Tomahawk Forged Head Weeping Heart 1840" is in sale since Friday, March 16, 2018. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Cultures & Ethnicities\Native American\ US\1800-1934\Weapons". The seller is "appyantiques" and is located in Kingsport, Tennessee.
This item can be shipped worldwide.