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W 10½" Feathers
W 6" Blade & Pipe
Limited Edition 30 - Bronze Date 1995
The pipeax - also hatchet or tomahawk - became a symbol for both war and peace. The peaceful intent of treaty meetings was often symbolized by the burying of a tomahawk head. The same intent might also be expressed by smoking.
With its potential as a weapon and beautiful craftsmanship in decoration, the pipeax could convey more than one attitude.
Only the heads of the tomahawk were manufactured, and were in the style of the providing country - from England, a straight ax, the French blade resembled a fleur-de-lis and the shape of a broadax from Spain.
Great skill in the use of the tomahawk as a weapon was attributed to the warrior, but it came to be only ceremonial in use, as no one wanted to damage it in battle.
The pipeax was adorned with the most meaningful of objects such as the eagle feather and small animal pelts and held the great religious powers linking the tribe with the Great Spirit.
--William M. Finklea
Story created and written from sculptor's concept.
Photography by Joe Webb