What Were the Weapons of the Iroquois?

Andreas Overland/CC-BY 2.0

The most prominent weapons in an Iroquois man’s arsenal were the bow, war club, knife, lance and tomahawk. Although today the war club and tomahawk are most often associated with the Iroquois, a warrior could utilize any of these depending on what the situation necessitated.

The curved war clubs used by the Iroquois were called ball-headed war clubs because they sported a round, thick head made of wood. Both the handle and ball usually came from one piece of wood. These were contact weapons used to strike or bash an enemy at close range. Warriors also chipped triangle-shaped arrowheads and leaf-shaped knives from a hard mineral called flint. Once crafted into the appropriate shape, these flint weapons were very sharp and quite effective at dispatching enemies or prey. The tomahawk was also a hand-to-hand combat weapon, but it could be thrown by a mounted warrior in much the same way as a knife.