Cherokee Indians: Weapons and Warfare

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Cherokee weapons were designed, created, and engaged for "close-range combat," so the Cherokees, consequently, were masters of guerrilla warfare and had perfected it generations prior to the Europeans' arrival in the Americas. Hunting game had required both experience and skill. The Cherokee, through hundreds of years of practice, had adapted and transitioned its hunting prowess from "the game to the enemy." 

During war, Cherokee Indians typically bivouacked at the "foot of a steep ridge," and this allowed them to: conduct hit-and-run tactics, limited the enemy in its attack formation, and it allowed them an expeditious escape route through familiar terrain.

Though the Cherokee were by nature a peaceful people, they were nevertheless trained and prepared for protecting themselves from surrounding tribes and, later, from the white man.

They became expert weapon-makers. Arrows crafted from flint and eagle feathers were secured to cane shafts and shot by bows made of sycamore and hickory. These bows were carefully shaped with bear oil and seasoned by fire. Buffalo hide breast-plates, shields, helmets and quivers adorned the Cherokee warriors while they wielded their stone tomahawks and flint-tipped spears.

Cherokee Indians developed the throwing hatchet style of the Tomahawk. (That method of fighting was lost after the Trail of Tears.) Basically, Cherokee could hunt with a special balanced hatchet. Up to a range of 30 feet, a Cherokee welding a Tomahawk could split a coconut. In a melee, Cherokee welding the hatchet were able to "open up the chests of those they attacked with a single blow."

For small game hunting, the Cherokee have earned a reputation for making superior blowguns, characterized by their outstanding workmanship and accuracy. Through these rivercane tubes, the hunters would blow darts made of locust and feathered with thistle down to kill small game and birds, even at great distances.

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Editor's Picks: Highly Recommended Viewing Regarding Indian Wars and Warfare

The Great Indian Wars: 1540-1890 (2009) (230 minutes). Description: The year 1540 was a crucial turning point in American history. The Great Indian Wars were incited by Francisco Vazquez de Coronado when his expedition to the Great Plains launched the inevitable 350 year struggle between the white man and the American Indians. This series defines the struggles of practically every major American Indian tribe. It is also a fascinating study of the American Indians' beginnings on the North American Continent, while reflecting the factional splits as well as alliances. Continued...

The Great Indian Wars is more than a documentary about the battles and conflicts, wars and warfare, fighting tactics and strategies, and weapons of the American Indians. You will journey with the Indians and witness how they adapted from the bow to the rifle, and view the European introduction of the horse to the Americas and how the Indians adapted and perfected it for both hunting and warfare. This fascinating documentary also reflects the migration patterns--including numerous maps--and the evolution of every major tribe, as well as the strengths, weaknesses, and challenges of each tribe. Spanning nearly 4 hours and filled with spectacular paintings and photographs, this documentary is action-packed from start to finish.


Mel Gibson's "Apocalypto" (Widescreen Edition) (2006). Description: "The hunter-warrior Jaguar Paw must elude the most powerful warriors of the Mayan kingdom while using his vast knowledge of the forest to turn the tables on those who would rather see him dead than set free." World-renowned archaeologist and Mayan culture expert Dr. Richard D. Hansen -- whose services as a special consultant on the film lent the production an unprecedented degree of historical accuracy. Continued...

As the foundation of the Mayan civilization begins to crumble, one man's previously idyllic existence is forever changed when he is chosen as a sacrifice needed to appease the gods in director Mel Gibson's mythic end-times adventure. The Mayan kingdom is at the absolute height of opulence and power but leaders are convinced that unless more temples are constructed and more human sacrifices made, the crops and ultimately the people will suffer. Jaguar Paw (Rudy Youngblood) is a ‘peaceful hunter’ from a remote forest tribe whose life is about to be changed forever. When Jaguar Paw's village is raided and he is prepared as a sacrifice that the Mayan deities have demanded, the brave young hunter is forced to navigate a horrific new world of fear and oppression. Fearlessly determined to escape his captors and save his family from a harrowing demise, Jaguar Paw prepares to risk it all in one final desperate attempt to preserve his dying way of life. However, few who have seen the sacrificial alter of the Mayans have managed to live to see another day. Now in order to rescue his pregnant wife and young son, Jaguar Paw will have to elude the 'most powerful warriors' of the Mayan kingdom while using his vast hunter knowledge of the forest to turn the tables on those who would rather see him dead than set free. Inspired by such ancient Mayan texts as the Popul Vuh Apocalypto, it marks a comprehensive collaboration between director Gibson, Cambridge-educated screenwriter Farhad Safinia, and world-renowned archaeologist and Mayan culture expert Dr. Richard D. Hansen -- whose services as a special consultant on the film lent the production an unprecedented degree of historical accuracy. It is also available in "Blu-ray."

What weapons did the Cherokee Indians fight with, use in battle, war and warfare? Cherokee Indian fighting tactics, Cherokee Indians used the following list of weapons in war, battles, combat, history, facts, details relating and regarding Cherokee Indian weapons

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