Site hosted by Build your free website today!

 Cherokee Language
 Mailing List
 Days of the Week
 Family Terms
 Language History
 Telling Time
 Download the
 Cherokee Font

 Cherokee Culture
 Cherokee Baskets
 Cherokee Houses
 Cherokee Weapons
 Official Flag
 Cherokee Clothing
 Cherokee Pottery
 Cherokee Games
 Cherokee Weddings
 Cherokee Clans
 Stomp Dance
 Cherokee Tear Dress

The Official Site of the Cherokee Nation

Cherokee Weapons

Arrowheads were made form various kinds of stone but flint was considered the best not only because the "grain" in flint is easier to chip than most other hard rocks. The favorite tool for chipping arrowheads into shape was the deerhorn. A piece of rock was first broken into smaller pieces by using a hammer stone, then the most likely pieces shaped into arrowheads by chipping away with a smaller hammer stone and with deerhorns.

Spear points were made similar to arrowheads, only larger in size and somewhat different in shape. Some spears were made of hard wood and the wooden point sharpened and hardened in a fire.

Stone weapons, tomahawks, and battle hammers were made form rocks of right shape by sharpening one edge and grinding a groove around the stone using other harder stones. The groove was made so that the stone could be bound to a handle with rawhide. Other hammers and ax-type weapons were also used-sometimes a wood "burl" or knot in a root or branch with a convenient handle made a good battle ax.

Cherokees also used blowguns, generally for small game, but occasionally for warfare. Blowguns were from three to eight or nine feet long, with darts made of hard woods with the "fluff" or the rear end of the dart made from thistledown to center the dart in the blowgun. This would form a seal so that wind pressure (from blowing) behind the dart would send it through the barrel at a great speed. These were very accurate at short distances. In wartime, if darts were used, they were generally poisoned, sometimes by getting a poisonous snake to bite into a piece of spoiled meat and dipping the darts into the poisoned meat. Certain plant juices were also used for poisons.


"Cherokee Blowgun"

The blowgun was a hunting tool. It was made from river cane six to eight feet long. The joints in the cane were cleaned out by using a smaller cane until it was hollow all the way through. The dart for the gun was made of a small piece of wood about eight inches in length. One end was sharpened, and on the other end they placed some dried thistle to make the dart fly straight. This tool was used for small animals such as rabbits and squirrels.

Prior to European contact, the Cherokee and many other tribes used the blowgun for hunting small game such as rabbits, squirrels and birds. Today, the tradition of the blowgun is perpetuated in annual competition at the Cherokee National Holiday. Entrants shoot at a standard bull's eye target approximately 20 yards from the firing line. Scoring is determined by the designated value of the circle hit in the target



"Traditional Cherokee Darts"

Note: The thistle fluff is longer do to these darts being made by North Carolina Cherokees. In the Carolinas the thistle grows larger than in Oklahoma where the Cherokees of Oklahoma pick there thistle.


"Traditional Cherokee Blowgun"


"Cherokee Blowgun's Usage"

"The blowgun is held to the lips as in blowing a trumpet. Both hands are close together with right hand nearest and close to the breech, or larger end, of the tube, not as in holding a rifle."



Pictures Courtesy of:

Choogie Kingfisher

"Cherokee Culture Coordinator"

for the

Cherokee Nation Cultural Resource Center