Northern Plains (Lakota) Scull cracker, Stone war club with horse hair tassel/feather

Northern Plains (Lakota) Scull cracker, Stone war club with horse hair tassel/feather

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Very interesting piece of History - this piece is OLD!!! Something different and special.....:

Northern Plains (Lakota) Scull cracker, Stone war club with horse hair tassel and feather

Made of stone, wood, sinew, at the end of the handle, is a horse hair tassel. This piece is from the mid to late 1800s (estimated 1870’s) – it has 4 feathers attached at the bottom, one on top, possibly one missing (see explanation below)

Measurements: length without the horsehair: 23”, stone 4 ½” x 3” (VERY heavy), tail in total additional 22”, total 5 feathers

Originating in the Northern Plains, clubs like this one were commonly used in warfare by men and women alike. Often, the clubs would be used to count “coup” on the enemy versus killing them outright. Counting coup meant you were within close enough proximity to touch or strike the enemy, and then got away, preferably unscathed. The stone head was attached to the shaft with a piece of wet rawhide that was allowed to dry, firmly securing them together. The shaft was then covered with more rawhide.

The club was likely owned by member of a warrior society, such as the Kit Foxes (Tokala), Strong Hearts (Cante Ohitika), or Bald Heads (Pesla) if he were Lakota or a similar warrior society. The exact origin is unknown. 

The term coup used by the Plains warriors, North American Natives. Facing one’s enemy is considered an act of courage and bravery; most of these courageous acts are recorded in the minds of the Natives and shared by way of storytelling.

Many Native Americans tie feathers to their coup sticks, to indicate how many battles they had won. Locks of horse hair tied to the skull crackers were also used as a victory count

This piece has 4 feathers tied to it…..

 

 

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