Originally Posted by M ELEY
The fascinating thing about these axes is that they truly 'walked the path' between two separate worlds. Made by Europeans, but sold to and used by Native Americans, they are both Ethno and non-Ethno pieces! Although a gruesome weapon in a fight, they were as essential as side knives for these warriors.
Here is another from my collection. This early piece might in truth be only a tool as it is very stocky and heavy (most, but not all spike tomahawk heads weigh less that a few pounds at most while this one might tip the scale!). Early iron spike ax with forging flaws and nice patina. Haft is probably modern replacement.
They very much did walk in two worlds, and while often colonist tools simply made by local smiths, they did find their way into tribal hands.
This one corresponds remarkably with an example in "Firearms, Traps and Tools of the Mountain Men", Carl P.Russell (1967, p.288, fig.75 a).
This is listed as from Onondaga, N.Y. as specimen #582, American Museum (Smithsonian).
William M. Beauchamp, "Metal Implements of the New York Indians" (N.Y.Museum, Bulletin 55, pp.1-86, Albany, 1902) includes this example and notes it has the initials J.G. on both sides of the 'bit'.
Onondaga in the 18th century was the capital of the Iroquois League, and during Revolutionary War , the Onondaga tribe allied with British. After the war they moved north into Canada as veterans were awarded land bounties under the Colonial New York Military Tract (1798).
The initials on the listed example in the museum suggests of course European use initially, but certainly these also fell into Onondaga hands.