When Europeans began settling in North America in the 1500s, so-called “trade axes” played an important role in commerce with the native population. These axes were made by the Europeans, but became so popular with the Native Americans that they in time came to be one of the foremost Native American symbols, known by the name Tomahawk.
The word “tomahawk” comes from the Lenape tribe’s “tamahak,” which loosely translates to “cutting tool.”
The axes served as a currency that the Europeans traded for guiding, transport, skins, hand-made goods and more, all for a given number of axes. Many Native American tribes were nomadic and did not spend their time building houses or splitting wood, leading to little interest in large hewing axes, carpentry axes or splitting axes. Lightweight, practical axes which were easy to carry on a belt were, however, of much greater interest.
The practical tomahawks quickly became popular with the Native Americans and were used for hunting, warfare, domestic tasks and religious rites. In close combat and hunting the tomahawk was used primarily as a hand weapon, but the Native Americans were also skilled in axe throwing. The axe head’s light weight made it so that it would rotate well when thrown.
The Gränsfors Tomahawk is inspired by a French trade axe. It is traditionally forged using a coal forge, hammer, and anvil. This is an extremely complex and time-consuming process, and the axe is produced in small series. Each axe is stamped with a series number, year of production and the smith’s touchmark. The Gränsfors Tomahawk features a loose handle as is traditional, fitting for throwing but also suitable for limbing and splitting kindling.
When used for axe throwing, the axe handle is easily damaged. A loose, easily replaced handle is therefore both traditional and practical. Gränsfors Bruk stocks extra handles for replacement.
The Gränsfors Tomahawk features a hickory handle treated with linseed oil stain to develop a fine patina. The axe comes with an extra-thick custom-made sheath sewn of vegetable tanned leather.
The Gränsfors Tomahawk is covered by a 20-year warranty. However, Gränsfors Bruk cannot guarantee a replacement product due to the fact that the axe is produced in limited series. If a replacement is unavailable a full refund is offered instead.
The Gränsfors Tomahawk is forged by Sam Ritter. Sam has a solid background as a professional blacksmith and for several years has worked in close collaboration with Gränsfors Bruk, focusing on axe forging, general blacksmithing and as instructor for the Gränsfors Bruk forging courses. Sam is co-founder of and journeyman smith in the North Hälsingland Blacksmith Guild.
Note: The historical axes are sold exclusively in the Gränsfors Bruk web store in Sweden, and are not available for pre-order. When a model is available it will be visible on the website.
approx. 0,6 kg
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