Iron Joe

6 X 9 Inches

Iron Joe

This hammer before you – let us call him Iron Joe – is an embodiment of the character we associate with the Indians: hard as iron on its enemies and soft as a hair to his countrymen. Its shape is similar to that of their weapon – the Tomahawk. This weapon had the following particular features: the poll could have a pipe-bowl for smoking (the ‘pipe Tomahawk’), come in the form of spike or hammer or was simply rounded off (the ‘Tomahawk-squaw’ often used by women).

Lavishly decorated Tomahawks (with blade engravings and metal detail on handles) were used as gifts in diplomatic exchanges between Europeans and Native Americans and had an obvious dual symbolism: a ‘pipe of peace’ on the one hand and an ‘axe of war’ on the other

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