How to Make a Tomahawk

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The tomahawk is associated with Native American history. It has been used as a tool and weapon. Frontiersmen commonly used the tomahawk as a tool during exploration and trapping. The word tomahawk is derived from the words “tamahakan” and “tamahak” from the Algonquian language, which refers to tools with stone heads. The design of the tomahawk varied because they were often customized and ranged from being simple to ornate. Lavishly decorated tomahawks were often given as gifts.

Things You'll Need

  • Oval-shaped stone
  • Willow or ash stick, 18 inches in length
  • Sharp knife
  • 150-grit sandpaper
  • Sinew
  • 4 strips of leather, eight inches long
  • Red paint
  • Yellow paint
  • Small paint brush
  • Select a smooth oval-shaped stone that is approximately four inches long and three inches wide. Select a dry willow or ash stick that is approximately 1 1/2 inches in diameter and 18 inches in length.

  • Lay the stick on a flat surface and split the end with a sharp knife. Place the tip of the blade of the knife 3 1/2 inches from the end of the stick. Push the tip of the knife down into the wood. Push down on the blade of the knife and cut through the wood.

  • Sand the split ends with 150-grit sandpaper to remove rough edges.

  • Place the stone inside the slit. Wrap sinew around the bottom of the stone several times.

  • Wrap the sinew over the top of the stone and around the tip of the stick. Bring the sinew down the back of the stone and up over the front. Wrap the sinew around the tip and back down the front and under the stone on the opposite side. Continue to wrap the sinew in this manner until the stone is secure.

  • Tie four eight-inch strips of leather around the handle just below the stone for decoration. Paint lines around the bottom and middle of the stick with red and yellow paint. Use a small paint brush.

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