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Hail and lightning

War club
Hail and lightning by Iron John Logan

Hail and lightning dual blade war club by Iron John Logan

A historical recreation inspired by Native American war clubs of the later half of the 19th century. Clubs like these were used by Native horseback riders during the Soux Wars and other far western conflicts that erupted when gold miners and other profit speakers invaded Native treaty land. The 1870s were a particular violent time on the great plains as settlers further encroached on Native land and the US Cavalry rode with sabers flashing to cut down anyone they found alive. An entire generation was cought up in the fighting and many young men became warriors in their desperate attempt to keep their land, heritage and culture alive.

Symbolism and form always greatly shaped Native weapons with motifs and decorations bringing certain attributes to the wielder. The inverted gunstock shape, while originating pre-contact, became a powerful symbol with of it's own. Taking the widest plank on the otherwise treeless Great Plains the materials required were reserved for only the top members of a war society. Trade items such as tacks and dye pigments for paint showed status and wealth of the owner and often were laid out in creative personal symbols to invoke the strongest war magic of the natural world.

Soux chief No Flesh 1876 with tacked war club and peace pipe.

Hail and lightning is hand carved from quarter sawn oak like what could have been captured from an abandoned wagon or other refuse left behind by settlers pushing into the western territories. Decorated with raw hide paint and brass tacks in motifs for hail on one side and lightning on the other it is aged and shows signs of being coated with vermilion. A braided quirt is attached just forward of the grip and terminates with deer toes, tin cones and a strand of black horse hair. The tips of two broken cavalry sabers stand in for blades at the elbow of the club. Signed and dated by artist Iron John Logan 2023

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