Native Americans - University of California, Irvine

Weaponry and Tools of the
Archaic Age
California Native American Indians
Hunter / Gatherer and Agriculture
• Common Tactics
• Weaponry
• Archaic Warriors
• Comparison Between
• Basketry
• Final Thoughts
Common Tactics
Bow and Arrow
Traps (Boxes, Pits)
Animal Calls
Bow and Arrow
• The simple bow, also called the self-bow or the self-backed
bow, was made from a single piece of wood carved from the
inner core of a branch using a sharp obsidian blade, scrapers,
and "sanding tools" such as rough stone surfaces.
• A stronger bow was made by starting in the same way and
then adding layers of pulverized sinew (usually from a deer's
leg) to the back. The sinew was chewed, mixed with a "glue"
(often made from boiled salmon heads and skin), and applied.
• Great care was taken to provide a smooth, uniform, and
uncracked layer. Sinew-backed bows were usually strung with
sinew (usually the sinew from a deer's backbone); while selfbows were strung with either sinew or cordage.
Indian Warrior
1,000 BC
• Hunted in Groups for Large
Game or Set traps for small
• Agriculture is present but
some tribes still remain
• Weaponry remains basic
with stone and some metal
• War is unwanted and
looked down upon.
Technological Advancement
(4,000 - 1,700) Metal working develops from copper to
bronze to iron and spreads in concentric rings into Europe
and Asia; alphabetical languages develop; Classic empires
of Greece, Alexander, and Rome come and pass.
(2,000 - 1,000) A succession of increasingly rich cultures
develop from Peru north to Colorado, including Incas,
Mayas, Toltecas, Aztecs, and Anasazis. These are
characterized by agriculture, great civic buildings, social
complexity, some metal working, and incipient glyphic
languages. The Mississippi life-way develops in Southern
Greek Warrior
1,000 BC
• Bronze Armor and artistic
armor / shields.
• War / Battle is a “proving
ground.” for glory.
• Weapons are designed for
human combat – not
• Cahuilla only made coiled
baskets that coiled out in a
counterclockwise manner
when looking at the bottom of
the basket.
• The basket consisted of filler,
the bundle, and the material
used to sew the filler to the
basket with, the splint.
• The actual process of weaving
a basket can range from a few
hours to a few months.
• Baskets by the Cahuilla were
commonly made from deer
• Basket making becomes a
useful tool during the Archaic
Period (11,000 to 4,000 BP).
Photos by Edward Curtis
That’s All Folks
• Native Americans used
weaponry as tools. not only as
instruments for war.
• Life was far different in North
America than it was in Europe.
• Indian’s focused on a religion
sided with nature.
• War and Peace
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Mails, Thomas E. "The Mystic Warriors of the Plains: The culture, arts, crafts and religion of the Plains Indians."
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Beckman, Tad. “APPENDIX B: RESEARCH IN CALIFORNIA.” 1998. Harvey Mudd College. 1 June 2010.
Lowell, John Bean. Mukat's People: The Cahuilla Indian's of Southern California. Berkeley, California: University
of California Press. First Paperback Edition. 1974.
Lysippides Painter: Amphora (56.171.14)". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan
Museum of Art, 2000–. (June 2010)
Source: Attributed to the manner of the Lysippides Painter: Amphora (56.171.14) | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art
History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art
“Porky Pig” .Gasolinealleyantiques. 1 June 2010.
“Spear heads.” 2000. Illinois State Museum. 1 June 2010.
Schwegman, John E . “Kincaid Mounds A Prehistoric Cultural and Religious Center In Southern Illinois.” The
Kincaid Mounds. 1 June 2010.
“Deer Grass.” 2009. Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians. 1 June 2010.

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