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 Museum Explorer

Tools and technology in the Americas

Steel dagger

Length: 36.000 cm

AOA 1949.Am22.134.a, b

Steel dagger

From: North America
Date: 19th century AD

Native North Americans exchanged goods with European traders. They would provide beaver and buffalo skins. In return they would receive things that they did not have, especially cloth, but also iron knives, tobacco, tea and guns.

The steel blade of this dagger was made in Sheffield, England. It is a much more effective weapon than anything made by native North Americans, as they did not have any metal. A Metis man (mixed-race Indian and European) has attached the blade to a handle made of buffalo horn. The knife cover, or sheath, is made of skin. It has been decorated by his wife with a weaving of the finest porcupine quills.