Today we are happy to offer for sale a wonderful antique Penobscot carved wood tribal war club!
The Penobscot (Panawahpskek) are an indigenous peoples in North America from the Northeastern Woodlands region. They are organized as a federally recognized tribe in Maine and as a First Nations band government in the Atlantic provinces and Quebec.
The root club is a mainly a Maine Indian item, with very few examples noted from other areas. The root club has been documented to have been made prior to Europeans arriving in America. They were traditionally used as weapons, and later on were thought to have ceremonial or spiritual use. Very small ones, less than a foot long are thought to have been shaman’s clubs. The traditional carving on root clubs is an ancient skill which was nearly lost – but was rediscovered around 1900 -1930, when Maine Indian carvers of that era began incorporating designs that were sold to collectors.
The war club is beautifully hand-crafted and detailed. The piece is expertly carved out of a natural fragment of burlwood root, with original natural details left intact and used to form the head of the figure, which depicts a horned man believed to be Wendigo, the mythological man-eating creature or evil spirit from the folklore of the First Nations Algonquian tribes based in the northern forests of Nova Scotia, the East Coast of Canada, and Great Lakes Region of Canada and the United States. The Wendigo is described as a monster with some characteristics of a human or as a spirit who has possessed a human being and made them become monstrous. Its influence is said to invoke acts of murder, insatiable greed, cannibalism and the cultural taboos against such behaviors. The club’s handle features a carved leafed motif terminating with the carved head of the figure. The figures’ eyes and eyebrows are died with coal tar stain.
Club presents well and is in very good antique condition, with expected minor surface wear/scuffing and patina commensurate with age. Tip of horns have faint losses. This Penobscot war club will make an outstanding addition to any fine antique Native American artifact collection. Fresh to the market from an old Providence estate!
Dimensions: 14-3/8″ in length, 3-7/8″ in width, 3-3/8″ in depth
NOTE: Shipping cost includes full insurance. We do not mark up shipping.