Decorative Wall Hanging Spear
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This spear/lance is adorned with feathers representing the eagle to bring to the lance's owner the power and freedom of the highest flier in the sky. Each feather also marks a coup, or battle success. It is made with Saguaro rib and trimmed with deer fur, beads, and has two Medicine bundles. The leather is dyed Doeskin and handstrung beading with leather wrapping for decorative appeal. It measures about 71" including the 5-1/2" bone tip. The hanging leather fringe is 16". It was made just down the street from our trading post by some good friends of Richard's. Some of the artists can be seen in the photos. Due to the hand made nature of these artifacts, some slight variations may exist from piece to piece.
Valuable by products of animals hunted for meat and skins were their bones and other non edible parts. Long ago man found these useful for tools, weapons, and ornaments. This is a replica artifact of yester year.
The Plains Style Lance was always an important part of the weapons arsenal. Early in prehistory, the lance was a stone tipped weapon, most likely with a hardwood or bone foreshaft to make changing points easy and to avoid having to carry another heavy shaft as backup. When steel trade blades or broken swords from the Spanish or cavalry replaced the traditional stone, the lance became a very durable item. Lances were primarily thrusting weapons, and were often used from horseback. They varied in length from a reported 14 foot model used by the Comanches to a more normal six foot. The lance was meant to be thrown so much as rammed. The trick was to let go at the right moment so as to get the maximum force without toppling horse and rider. Lances were wielded by only a few prominent warriors, usually as a token of their status.
The objects man makes are called artifacts, and every artifact, whether it is beautiful or ugly, crude or refined, utilitarian or ceremonial, is a reflection and product of man's skills, his techniques, his arts. Artifacts reflect the ideas, the concepts, and the knowledge acquired or learned a a member of a tribe. Members of a particular tribe use certain techniques, and create a particular style because that is their tradition.