The Tomahawk


As Harold L. Peterson best explains, names can often confuse as well as clarify, and this is especially true of the word Tomahawk. Derived from the Algonquian Indians of Virginia, tamahak or tamahakan  simply designated a  cutting instrument.
    
First introduced into the English vocabulary by Captain John Smith  of Jamestown sometime during 1607-1609, this name according to Captain Smith simply meant "axes". Later, he would amend this definition to include both an iron hatchet as well as a native war club. As Mr. Peterson explains, "The colonists were by no means linguists, and their faulty understanding of the Indian's usage of the term made their definitions inaccurate. This has so clouded the issue that it is now impossible to be absolutely sure just which instrument or class of instruments an Algonquian speaker meant when he used the word."      Subsequent writers followed suit and the name tomahawk was applied to just about anything that resembled a axe, hatchet or club.  Eventually the name began to be applied exclusively to smaller hatchets carried by Indians. This general description is still commonly held by most today when asked what a tomahawk is.     

My interest in tomahawks began when I was a child through various movies and books. I crafted my first crude tomahawk when I was eleven years old from a stone and a small stick and though my materials and methods have radically changed from my first attempt, my desire to produce working history has not.      It's my intent to craft tomahawks that represent tradition yet reflect my own unique style. Each head is forged from a solid piece of 52100 steel and then meticulously heat treated in order to achieve exceptional cutting ability and outstanding edge retention.       

I would like to thank all those that appreciate, and particularly those that invest in this craft and we craftsmen who strive to create tomahawks worthy of our pioneers and your approval.    

L. C. Hansen