Early Indians made spears by chipping away at pieces of flint rock in order to create a sharp spearhead. Over time, the flint rock was replaced with copper. Spearheads were also created with animal bones. The spearheads were attached to long shafts made of tree wood.
Spears were used by the Native Americans as hunting weapons as well as weapons of protection. A technique called the "buffalo pound" was often utilized to kill buffalo. One hunter would dress in a buffalo costume in order to attract live buffalo into an area where additional hunters were waiting to attack the animals with spears.
The Native Americans also used spears for spear fishing. Many Native American tribes resided close to water, and fish was a necessary staple of their daily diets. Native American women were forbidden to spear fish. The Native Americans used spears for hunting until the bow and arrow was invented.
Spears that were utilized as weapons were designed differently than those used for hunting. Native American spears are often referred to as javelins and consist of a streamlined head and a light shaft. Spears were often painted with handmade paints and decorated with feathers, animal fur, beads and fringes.