Monday, November 2, 2009

Corner Tang Knife Blade

One of the rare blade forms found in the south central US (Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas) is the corner tang knife.  Basically, it is a somewhat triangular blade with the pronounced feature being a hafting tang on one corner.  There has been some speculation as to how the tang was employeed.  A handle may have been mounted on the blade.  But, some tangs are small and a handle would have been somewhat a fragile addition.  Perhaps the blade was more handheld and the "handle" was more of a stabalizer.  Another idea proposed was that a thong was attached to the tang and tied to the wrist.  During the butchering process it allowed the hands to work freely, and the blade was simply brought into play as needed by dropping the hand and grasping the dangling blade.  ...?  This unique blade form dates back to the Late Archaic period, some 4000 - 2000 years ago.  The name "Archaic", loosely defined, means "ancient ones."  These were a nomadic people of hunter gatherers, decended from the Ice Age PaleoIndians... who utilized the dart and atlatl to hunt game, as well a foraging plant resources during a time when the climate began to warm, much as it is today. 

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