tomahawk [from an Algonquian dialect of Virginia], hatchet generally used by Native North Americans as a hand weapon and as a missile. The earliest tomahawks were made of stone, with one edge or two edges sharpened (sometimes the stone was globe shaped). The stone was fastened to a wooden handle in various ways, such as by putting the stone into a hole through the wood, tying the stone to a handle with thongs, or splitting the handle and tying it about the stone with thongs. After the arrival of the European traders the stone implements were rapidly replaced by European-manufactured tomahawks of steel (trade tomahawks). Some tomahawks were also equipped with a pipe bowl and a hollow stem, which were used for smoking. The ceremonial tomahawk usually was richly decorated with feathers and paint. Some Native Americans had the custom of ceremonially burying a tomahawk after peace had been reached with an enemy. This custom is supposedly the origin of the colloquial phrase, "to bury the hatchet."

See H. L. Peterson, American Indian Tomahawks (1965).

Tomahawk is a city in Lincoln County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 3,770 at the 2000 census. The city is located to the northeast of the Town of Tomahawk and is not contiguous with it. There is also the Town of Lake Tomahawk in Oneida County.


The Chippewa people inhabited the Tomahawk area until treaty was signed that removed them to reservations. This removal allowed for widespread logging in the area. Tomahawk was founded by William H. Bradley, who organized the Tomahawk Land and Boom Company in 1886. This company lumbered the area. The city was incorporated in 1891. The city exhibits a certain degree of affluence in some areas as there are a lot of upper middle class citizens that live on the many lakes, however there is also a large population of residents that are not which makes the per capita income relatively low. More Tomahawk history is found at the town history website.


Tomahawk is located at (45.474463, -89.731454).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.8 square miles (22.9 km²), of which, 7.4 square miles (19.3 km²) of it is land and 1.4 square miles (3.6 km²) of it (15.84%) is water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 3,770 people, 1,527 households, and 957 families residing in the city. The population density was 506.8 people per square mile (195.6/km²). There were 1,696 housing units at an average density of 228.0/sq mi (88.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.98% White, 0.05% Black or African American, 0.64% Native American, 0.66% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.21% from other races, and 0.42% from two or more races. 0.77% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,527 households out of which 30.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.1% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.3% were non-families. 32.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.1% under the age of 18, 7.0% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 20.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 88.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,986, and the median income for a family was $42,333. Males had a median income of $36,042 versus $20,625 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,277. About 7.1% of families and 7.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.2% of those under age 18 and 4.9% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people


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