Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Not-omahawk

Hi, my name is James, and I like Tomahawks.

I always have, and also, I like things that are sorta tomahawks. Like the special force shovel and badaxe (more on these later). Also, another 'sorta' category includes peace pipes and spontoon tomahawks.
Dixie Gun Works German Silver Spontoon Hawk

What's a spontoon tomahawk? Well, I'm glad you asked. A spontoon was a large bladed spear with a crosspiece, that was issued to sergeants in 16th, 17th, and 18th century European armies. It was mostly a badge of rank and a signaling device, but would also work as a mean thrusting spear. The British Army in particular, used them to some extent all the way until the American Revolution.

Well, as some armies realized that their segeants would be more effective if they had, y'know, guns, there became a surplus of spontoons. So some entreprising soul took a bunch of the spontoon heads, forged on a ring and pipe bowl, and mounted them as tomahawks. Amazingly, the idea caught on with some success, and a good number of eastern woodland tribes really took to the spontoon hawk.

Now, a spontoon hawk has nearly zero utility function. It's not as if you can clear brush or split firewood with a spearhead, after all. It can be just the ticket, however, for some anti-personnel uses. Spears are quite useful for defeating many types of armor, due to high energy over small impact area. Spontoon hawks are no different, but have the added bonus of being considerably more easy to carry hooked to your belt. Maybe all that thick wool clothing that the early American Colonists wore were the cause of the popularity of the spontoon hawk. The world may never know.

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