Missouri Warhawk, 1870s

"Bleeding Heart" tomahawk used by an Indian Scout

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Large numbers of American Indians from tribes deemed “friendly” by the United States government were recruited to serve as Indian Scouts during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Formed under an 1866 act of Congress, the Indian Scouts played a vital role to Army forces in battle by providing tracking and reconnaissance as well as disciplined fighting.

In American Indian culture, tomahawks were general purpose tools as well as weapons. This tomahawk, also known as a Missouri Warhawk, was carried by Southern Cheyenne Indian Scout Anga Quash in the 1870s. Missouri Warhawks were characterized by designs or patterns on the ax blade. The designs, like this curve-tipped "bleeding heart," weakened the metal, however, making the tomahawks more suitable for ceremonial purposes than for conflict.  

See this and other artifacts on the Interactive Texas Map

Missouri Warhawk, 1870s Artifact from San Antonio, Texas
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