Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
They were very much weapons of status and prestige, as well as symbolic of authority and power.
Colin Taylor's works note various cases of the sword in American Indian culture and they are sometimes seen in pictographs and drawings. Apparently a good number of British M1796 light cavalry sabers came into America probably after 1830s. One trading post , the Bordeaux near Chadron, Nebraska seems to have acquired a good number of these and traded to various tribes.
The Yankton Sioux chief To-ka-cou had one which represented his power and his tribe entirely recognized this. The Crow also had a red painted example representing supernatural power.
While not used in the traditional sense, as a weapon, they were considered profoundly in the act of 'counting coup' on the battlefield, probably with recognition of these as in use by the 'long knives' (American cavalry).