Object photography

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Object description

  • Northeastern Woodlands artist
  • Club, 18th-19th century
  • Wood
  • Northeastern United States
  • L: 23 3/8 in, W: 3 in, D: 5 3/4 in (L: 59.4 cm, W: 7.6 cm, D: 14.6 cm)
  • Bequest from the Estate of Stephen Phillips, 1972
  • E33926
  • Man's personal weapon used in war
  • Being hit with a ball-headed war club like this could be fatal

Indigenous men throughout the Great Lakes and Northeastern regions used wooden war clubs such as this as a personal weapon in hand-to-hand combat. Made of dense hardwood, men would raise the club over their heads to declare war, and lower, or bury, the club when the fighting finished, in addition to using it while fighting. Warriors' success depended, in large part, on their ability to wield their heavy, two-feet long ball-headed war clubs with finesse, often delivering fatal blows.