The Tomahawk Chop's Origins: Scott Brown's workers ridiculing Elizabeth Warren are carrying on a long tradition. When did people begin doing the Tomahawk Chop? And isn't it racist?
People have been imitating Brown at his rallies ever since he first did it during his 2010 Senate campaign. According to The New York Times, when Brown does the chop "he is mocking Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts for claiming Native American ancestry."
His office said that he was only joking around with his supporters and that they should not take it seriously. But some people took it seriously enough to do the chop themselves. As soon as Brown announced that he would be running for president, people began doing the chop in front of his office in Salem.
According to The Boston Globe, "a local activist group called United Indians of All Tribes has been posting videos of people outside Brown's office performing the chop."
United Indians of All Tribes wrote on its website that they were starting the "Elizabeth Warren" movement because "Scott Brown doesn't represent us."
They also wrote that she "is not an Indian woman" and that they were going to "chop back" at him.
The pipe tomahawk was reported to have been adopted by the Cherokee tribe as early as the 1750s, and it was also widely used by the Iroquois Confederacy nations. As a result, the Tomahawk was utilized for a number of purposes: a tool for cutting A weapon for close combat
The Cherokee used the pipe tomahawk for hunting buffalo. They would go into the prairie and find these large trees with very wide roots, then use their skill as carvers to make pipes from the roots of these trees. These were then filled with sand and tobacco seeds and planted in the ground. The next year they would come back and harvest the plants that had grown up around the tree roots. This way the hunters kept themselves supplied with food while pursuing their game.
In addition to using the pipe tomahawk for hunting, the Cherokee also employed it as a tool for carving wood. Carving wooden objects such as knives, spears, and arrows was an important part of their culture. There were several different methods used by the Cherokee for carving weapons out of hardwood trees. One method involved starting at the top of the piece and working your way down until all the meat had been removed. Then you would start over again and work your way back up. This process could take years before you finally got a knife that was suitable for use in battle.
The poll of the tomahawk, which is the side opposite the blade, was once made up of a hammer, spike, or pipe. These "pipe tomahawks," constructed of a poll bowl and a hollowed-out shaft, were fashioned by European and American artists for trade and diplomatic presents to these Indian tribes. They are now kept in museums all over the world.
In modern usage, the term "pipe tomahawk" has become synonymous with an aggressive, threatening gesture. The Pipe Line Tomahawk Dance was popular among young people in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s. Participants would dance along a pre-designated route while carrying a pipe or pole, symbolizing their authority over others and their right to rule. This act was often done in response to a conflict that had taken place earlier in the night; thus, the dance could be viewed as a form of violence prevention.
Early settlers in what is now Wisconsin used the term "pipe tomahawk" to describe a weapon similar to the one used by Native Americans. Early French explorers also called these weapons tomahawks because they looked like the ones used by indigenous peoples of North America. Today, the word "tomahawk" is used to describe any large knife with a straight, single-edged blade. The term "pipe tomahawk" is still used today by some Native Americans to describe ceremonial knives that are not actually used as weapons.
Alicia Norris, a co-founder of the group, called the chop "very offensive," adding it "conjures up images of Native Americans and indigenous people as savages." The group also said it was unaware of any history of local tribes using or wearing clothing sold in their stores.
Norris went on to say that she was "dismayed" by the reaction of some Native Americans to the chain's decision. She said they have received comments such as, "This just shows how much racism still exists in our country."
The chain's decision not to continue with its partnership with the tribe came after several groups including American Indians in New York City protested the move by boycotting Red Drummer over concerns that doing so would be giving in to violence done against them in order to preserve their culture.
American Indians in Chicago announced plans to protest the chain at its annual meeting, which took place shortly after the boycott was announced. Although no vote was taken on whether to continue the partnership, chairman Jeff Rovin said he believed most directors were in favor of canceling it. He added that if Red Drummer had tried to force the issue, he was confident enough tribal members would have stopped buying products from the company.
Native Americans used stones affixed to wooden handles and fastened with rawhide strips before Europeans arrived on the continent. The tomahawk moved fast from the Algonquian civilization to the tribes of the South and Great Plains. It was popular among the Indian fighters in the American Revolution.
Why do they call it a tomahawk? The word "tomahawk" is derived from two Algonquin words meaning "to cut down trees."
In modern usage, the term "Indian" or "native American" is applied to people of North America who survived the European invasion and is still applied today. Before the advent of firearms, the only way for Indians to fight back against invaders was with their bows and arrows. That's why these weapons are so important in understanding Indian history. Without them, many battles would have been lost by the Indians.
During the Revolutionary War, because guns were too expensive for most Indians, they used what resources were available to them. Bows and arrows were more affordable and effective than guns because they could be made from wood and bone instead of metal. In addition, arrows were simple to make - just drill holes in them and stick them with sharp points downward - whereas guns required special tools and skilled workers to manufacture.
Tomahawks were multipurpose instruments used by Native Americans and subsequently by the European colonials with whom they dealt, and they were frequently used as hand-to-hand weaponry. The metal tomahawk heads were modeled on a Royal Navy boarding axe and were used as a trade item with Native Americans in exchange for food and other goods. They were also used by colonists in the New World to fight each other during wars of independence from Spain.
Native Americans used them to kill large animals for meat and fur, to cut down trees, and as weapons against enemies. Colonists used them to attack their enemies and to clear land for farming.
There are several theories about how the first tomahawks were made. Some say that Indians took parts of existing knives and glued them back together to make new ones. Others say that they were created using a hammer and an iron rod shaped like a hatchet blade. Still others claim that they were made from copper or wood.
In any case, they were usually made of steel or hardwood with a flat head shaped like a hatchet (this is why they are called "tomahawks"). The blades were usually between 14 and 18 inches long, although some were longer or shorter. The handles were often made of bone or horn and sometimes included the engraved image of a face or other design. There are also examples of wooden tomahawks with stone or metal blades inserted into the handle.