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Knives and Daggers of the Pacific Northwest Coast

Steel war dagger with abalone inlay, designed to represent a dogfish Collected by A. Mackenzie, 1884 Haida, Masset, Queen Charlotte Islands (VII-B-948) Same as images no 30 and 31. Canadian Museum of History

Steel war dagger with abalone inlay, designed to represent a dogfish [although it appears to be a wolf]. Collected by A. Mackenzie, 1884, Haida, Masset, Queen Charlotte Islands (VII-B-948). Canadian Museum of History.

by Warrior Publications, Sept 30, 2015

Prior to European colonization, Indigenous peoples on the Pacific Northwest Coast used a variety of knives and daggers.  These were most commonly made from bone and, in the northern region, copper.  When the first European colonizers encountered Indigenous peoples along the coast in the late 1700s, they already had terms for iron and steel and were familiar with their uses as well as basic forging techniques.  It is speculated that iron and steel found their way to the coastal nations as a result of trade and ship wrecks. Read the rest of this entry