Cover image for Native American weapons
Native American weapons
Taylor, Colin F.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Norman, Okla. : University of Oklahoma Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
128 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 21 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E98.A65 T39 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



"Featuring 155 color photographs and illustrations, Native American Weapons surveys weapons made and used by American Indians north of present-day Mexico from prehistoric times to the late nineteenth century, when European weapons were in common use." "Colin F. Taylor describes the weapons and their roles in tribal culture, economy and political systems. He categorizes the weapons according to their function - from striking, cutting and piercing weapons, to those with defensive and even symbolic properties - and he documents the ingenuity of the people who crafted them." "Taylor explains the history and use of weapons such as the atlatl, a lethal throwing stick whose basic design was enhanced by carving, painting, or other ornamentation. The atlatl surprised the De Soto expedition in the early 1540s, contributing to the Spaniards' defeat. Another highlight is Taylor's description of the evolution of body armor, first fashioned to defend against arrows, then against bullets from early firearms." "Over thousands of years the weapons were developed and creatively matched to their environment - highly functional and often decorative, carried proudly in tribal gatherings and in war."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Author Notes

Colin F. Taylor, formerly a Senior Lecturer at Hastings College of Arts & Technology, England, is a writer, lecturer, & film consultant. He is the author of "Buckskin & Buffalo: The Artistry of the Plains Indians", coauthor of "With Eagle Tail", editor of "Native American Arts & Crafts", & coeditor of "The Native Americans: The Indigenous People of North America".


Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

In this taut and generously illustrated overview, Taylor (Buckskin and Buffalo: The Artistry of the Plains Indians) zeroes in on North American Indian arms and armor from prehistoric times to the late 19th century, dividing his subject into five efficient categories. The chapter on striking weapons covers war clubs and tomahawks, cutting weapons include knives from Folsom stone to Bowie, piercing weapons comprise spears and bows and arrows, and defensive weapons feature the seldom-emphasized armor both men and horses wore in battle. Most interesting, however, is the chapter on symbolic weapons, which describes how powerful icons on dress or ornament were used to ward off blows. The illustrations mostly color photos of objects help the reader see distinctions between, for example, a regular tomahawk and a spontoon or French one. Old paintings and photographs show the weapons held by their owners, giving both a time frame and a sense of their importance. The text is packed and yet very readable, and the amount of history, tribal distinction, and construction detail given in such a short book is astounding. This excellent introduction is a bargain for any library. Gay Neale, Meredithville, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.