Choose Your Weapon

Plains Gun Stock Club c. 1875, 36" long

Our students recently finished a months-long project - making gun stock war clubs. While not made from actual gun stocks, Eastern Woodland and Plains Indians derived the club's shape from European muskets that in combat were used as deadly clubs once they ran out of ammunition. Adding a sharp spear or blade point near the elbow of the club only made it more lethal.

Several months ago the boys ventured into the woods with purpose as they searched for proper-shaped branches from which to carve and shape their clubs. They then spent several weeks getting the shape just right and sanding to a smooth finish. Dave brought in a set of throwing knives and with a drill press created holes to receive the blades. Both Dave and Drew contributed pine pitch to secure the blades in the holes, and we hope to add leather wrapping in the coming weeks ensure that the blades are stable. (click to enlarge photos)

The gun stock clubs were just one of the Eastern Woodland weapons that Dave introduced the boys to. He has reproduced many of them himself and brought his collection in for show and tell.

Looking to the future, our students also wanted to process deer bones for future tool and weapon making. Each one started with his own deer leg.

He who is best prepared can best serve his moment of inspiration.
— Samuel Taylor Coleridge