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Iroquois Grave Axe, 18th C
This grave axe is from the collection of famed collector and author Robert Wheeler, with his attached tag reading: "GRAVE AXE-/1700s/UTAN MOUND". It is pictured in "Who’s Who In Indian Relics, Vol. No 8", page181. This early axe was used as a fighting war axe among the eastern Iroquois tribes Among the Iroquois culture the large size axes were used by the women of the tribes to set up shelters, butcher game, and do the domestic chores. The smaller size axes were lighter and more suited to deliver a fast deadly blow on raids. Native Americans believed in life after death and the men were buried with their tomahawks, war axes, knives, etc., believing it would all be of use in the next life. This early style grave axe is 5 3/4" long and features a forged lap eye seam, 2" teardrop eye, and 2 5/8" cutting edge. It has Wheeler’s white inventory markings and identification tag indicating its being found in the Utan Mound. Excavated, showing pitting and dark patina. A rare example of a fighting axe from a famous collection.
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