An ancient weapon, the war club was refined over time to include the distinctive ball head. This Kanienkehaka (Mohawk) example was carved from a single piece of wood. The ball was originally painted red. A leaf-shaped iron blade, attached to the end of the ball head, made this weapon even more deadly. The handle is carved to represent the head of an underwater panther. Designs and inscriptions burned and etched on the handle include the owner's name and marks recording battles and wounds. As this example shows, war clubs became objects of art decorated with totemic images and, in some cases, marked with a history of their ownership and use.
Date: circa 1750