War Clubs's Role In Village Warfare

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The club plays a prominent role in village warfare after European contact. Drawings by European artists often include war clubs in portraits of post-contact Native Americans. Figure 3.7 shows Mandan Chief Four Bears in a battle using an ax style club. In the battle, the chief was injured by his opponent wielding a knife. The war pipe displayed on his belt signified that he was the war party leader (Keyser 2000) . When metal became a common material for construction of the ax blade, the war pipe design was incorporated into the club. War clubs appear in the ethnographic record as well. Both the Mandan and Hidatsa have the Black Mouth Society, a male group charged with policing the village and defending attacks. Once inducted into the society,
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