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ARROW HEADS—Will someone tell how the Indians made the arrow heads, spearheads, sledges and tomahawks, and how they fastened the arrow beads to the arrow. Would like to see an illustration of a tomahawk, and how to make snake belts.

Nobody knows how the flint arrow and spear heads were made, and I am not certain that it is really known that they were made by the Indians at all. It seems very probable that they were made and used by earlier races of mankind. In the “buffalo days” on the plains, the Indians used iron arrow heads which were made by some Eastern firm and supplied by the traders, or in other areas, they were made of hoop iron by the Indians themselves, the iron being given by the traders in exchange for furs. They, as well as the stone points, were fastened to the shaft by fitting into a slot or split, the joint being tightly bound with sinew or fine, wet rawhide, which would shrink in drying. The notches in the heads of the hunting arrows were made to accommodate the binding. The war arrows were also notched sometimes, but not often, as the sharp barbs were all that were needed to prevent the head from loosening from the shaft. It is my opinion that the tomahawks mentioned so often in pioneer history were simply hatchets or small axes supplied by the early traders. Of course, the Indians had stone axes before the coming of the white people, but they were simply shapeless pieces of flint bound into a wooden handle.

Another reader writes: The arrow heads were made by the Indians by using a piece of hard wood: placing the arrow bead on something solid and pushing wood or tapping lightly against under edge of arrow or piece intended for arrow, pushing off small scales at a time. I have seen tomahawks, arrow heads, stone skillets or ovens, also stone to pound or beat up their corn in to make meat. There is a stone quarry in Chatham County, three miles from here, where the Indians got their rock to make arrow heads of. It is on the top of a ridge and about 50 feet wide by 150 feet long and about 9 feet deep. The Indians had their camp some half mile from mine. You can pick up lots of broken arrow heads at their old camp, also some fine ones not broken and some of them as clear as glass. The Cherokee Indians lived in North Carolina and their old dams are still to be seen on Flaw River which they built out into the river to deaden the water so they could land their boats.

Harding, A.R.. 3001 Questions and Answers. Columbus, Oh: A.R. Harding, 1913.

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