Native American weapons can be grouped into five classifications:
* Striking, such as stone and wooden clubs, hatchet and tomahawk
* Cutting, such as knives
* Piercing, such as spears, lances, bows and arrows, and atlatl
* Defensive, such as shields
* Symbolic, such as medicine shields
Some of the Native American weapons that were made included high quality spears, bows, and arrows for gathering food and also for hunting. Native American weapons were needed because they were known to hunt elk, buffalo, duck, shellfish, turkeys, geese, rabbit, deer, and salmon. Native Americans were known for utilizing all materials from the animal to make art or crafts, such as fabric, cloth, feathers, rocks, and clay. Native American artwork served a function. They believed in using all the parts of the animal so nothing was wasted and to respect the earth around them.
Native American crafts included decorating animal skulls, such as buffalo skulls, as artwork. These skulls have very intricate carvings, bead work, and quill work that is incredibly beautiful. Native American weapons were used in their artwork as well. Native American arts and crafts included paintings and jewelry. Paintings usually showed geometric patters or nature scenes.
The jewelry often depicted nature, animals, and is made out of bead work or sterling silver. In general, Native American artwork is known for geometric, tribal patterns that go from simple to intricate in its design. In the Native American community, art is used as a form of expression and a way to tell stories for thousands of years. The Navajo Tribe is specifically well known for their high quality hand woven colorful blankets. Learn more.