Arrowheads & Other Native American Tools

Written by catherine jones
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Arrowheads & Other Native American Tools
Native Americans used tools for a variety of purposes including hunting, fishing and cooking. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Native American tribes relied on their handmade tools for hunting and cooking. These tools provide us with information about the lifestyle of native tribes across the Americas. Different tribes had their own tools and methods for creating them, but several tools were used by most Native American tribes. These include arrowheads, tomahawks, bows and arrows, knives and other cooking tools.


Arrowhead shape and size differs, depending on the tribe that created it. Different tribes lived in the same areas over time, so it is common to find different-shaped arrowheads in the same area. Arrowheads were passed down throug the family and were also traded with different tribes. These tools were used for hunting and also as weapons.


Early tomahawks were made of stone with wood handles. Tomahawks were used as tools, weapons, and also to establish friendship and treaties among tribes. A chief may have owned a tomahawk made of engraved pewter or silver. Tomahawks were lightweight tools that were easy to throw and use with only one hand. This also made them an excellent battle weapon.

Bow and Arrow

The bow and arrow was an important hunting tool for Native American tribes. The invention of the bow and arrow most likely occurred over 50,000 years ago, and was used by native tribes across what became the Americas. A bow was constructed using a bent piece of wood and animal sinew, while wood and feathers were used to create arrows for hunting game from far distances.

Knives and Cooking Tools

Sharpened animal bones were used as knives. Native Americans also used celts, which look like arrowheads, but were larger and less sharp. A celt was used as a scraper and also to pound food. Mortar and pestle were used in cooking to grind herbs and spices. Grinding tools were also used to crack nuts, pound seeds and roots, and grind corn, meat, fruit and fish.

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