Native American Culture/what do we have?



We recently came across these 2 artifacts and would like to know if its a tomahawk and hide scraper as we were told and if you could provide any further info, from what we were told they were found by the Nolichucky river

Very interesting finds. The tomohawk -- (axe head) shows a lot of wear and great age the scraper's fine knap work is truly incredible but its shape suggests a different use as the curve is backwards for a scraper, which had convex or outwardly bowed curves. My suggestion is that you show them to the anthropology department at the University, where there will be localized specialists who can determine origins and uses better than I can. Good luck in you efforts, as these are important finds, once they have been substantiated by a local authority.

Additional information: I was so struck with that shape, I gave it some thought and now wonder if it was adapted from a very lucky strike while knapping out a knife or large projectile point? The negative space is shaped just right for either one, so it may be a discard that was then picked up and worked to see if it would be useful.  

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Richard Sutton


As a direct reservation trader in all aspects of American Indian arts since 1985, I've answered questions regarding cultural property issues, origins of traditional crafts, materials and techniques, collecting, authenticity, symbols and, of course, repairs! We have operated a retail gallery since that time, bricks and mortar until 2007 and online since 1996. Our online operation closed in 2/2015, to allow me to finally write full-time. My writing site can be found at I'll be adding a book or two from our trader experiences under the pen name of W.T. Durand and the rest of my fiction is under my own name. We are not "New Age" practitioners of adopted American Indian religious ceremonies or combined philosophies. If you are seeking such knowledge for spiritual reasons, we will only provide answers that address factual information on these subjects. Unless one is raised in a traditional, American Indian family with language, culture and religious belief intact, we don't believe that simply applying the trappings or cultural property of a given traditional group will give a non-Indian (Native if you prefer)any insight other than the academic.


My primary focus is on Southwester American Indian Nations and their people, but I also have experience in Plains and Northeastern traditions, having engaged in active trade and retail since 1985 and study for most of my life. I am not claiming any expertise at all in the work, techniques, lifeways or crafts that are made by the Native People of Mexico. They are not the same, either linguistically or culturally but certainly their crafts deserve discussion and appraisal by those who are able to provide real information.

I was a guest on Fox Network "Lifestyles" program, during the 1990s, to discuss how to tell forgeries, and authenticating jewelry as Native American work. I have also written extensively for our website, and our Ebay Store.

UofO, 1970 active in the Authentic American Indian Arts business and direct Trader since 1985. Graphic Designer and published novelist.

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