Native American arrows are a significant element of Native American heritage. They were hand-crafted by various tribes to symbolize the people using the arrows.
The tribes could be recognized by the special marking on the arrows. Modern-day Indian arrows are created to be used as Native American décor such as wall art. Native American arrowheads are created from flint or hard stones that are easy to flake.
The hard stones are sharpened until points are made using a process called flintknapping. To make arrowheads, the flint needs to be struck with a hammerstone so that large flakes of flint can be removed. So how do you make an arrowhead?
How To Make Arrowheads?
Items you Need to Make an Arrowhead
- Stone such as flint or weak slate
- Hammer or a hard rock
- Sandpaper, rough rock or file
- Large nail
- Small screw/bolt
- Safety goggles
First, you’ll need to prepare your materials ready to construct your arrowhead. Follow the instructions below in preparation to make your arrowhead.
Prepare Your Materials
You’ll need to select the type of stone to use for the actual arrowhead. Flint or weak slate are both great options, but obsidian and chert also work well too to create sharp, well-defined edges.
Make sure to select a few different stones, because you may break the first few arrowheads that you construct.
Creating the Shape
The first thing you need to do before creating the shape of your arrowhead is to put on your safety goggles, to prevent bits of stone from flying into your eyes.
Select the stone that you are going to use to create the arrowhead and put it down on a surface that you don’t mind potentially damaging. Using your hammer or hard stone, tap at the stone and break it into small pieces.
Keep tapping the stone harder until it shatters into very small pieces of stone. Lightly chip at the rough edges to create a more triangular shape. The majority of arrowheads tend to be around 1 inch long and half an inch wide.
There are two different ways to form an arrowhead shape from your stone, these are called knapping and grinding. Knapping is more complex, but gives sharper, more defined edges and a more Native American aesthetic. Grinding can take longer, but it is a bit easier.
Knapping Your Arrowhead
Knapping involves hitting the edges of your stone with a screwdriver or nail. You can also use certain rocks to knap. Push the point of your screwdriver or nail against the edge of the stone and hit the edges of it until they start to chip away.
Keep going until you see the shape and texture of an arrowhead start to form. Keep shaping until the arrowhead is sharp and well-defined.
You can make a couple of indents on either side of the arrowhead using the screwdriver or nail, which makes it easier to attach to an arrow shaft.
Grinding your Arrowhead
Start by rubbing the stone you are using for your arrowhead against either sandpaper, a rough rock, or a file.
Keep rubbing until the top is even with the bottom, then grind the sides down into a 45 degree angle. When the general shape of the arrowhead has been formed, start rubbing to make it into a point shape.
Making Indents for the Arrow
Take a screw or bolt and angle it perpendicular to the bottom of the arrowhead, then rub the bolt along the edge with some pressure. As the bolt or screw rubs along the arrowhead, it will start to make an indent.
Make an indent on each side of the arrowhead. Holding the screw or bolt at an angle as you rub it along the sides of the arrowhead will help to make the indents into a more rounded shape. This is optional, but you could also use finer sandpaper to smooth out the scratches made by the rougher sandpaper, rough rock, or file.
Make sure to change direction frequently when sanding so you can achieve an authentic, smooth look. These finishing touches make it easier to attach an arrowhead to the shaft of an arrow, and also make the arrowhead look more authentic.
If you’ve followed the steps above carefully, you should have a great-looking Native American arrowhead. Whether you’re planning on using arrows to hit targets, or if you’re just creating a rustic Native American home decoration, it doesn’t really matter if the edges are a little dull, the point of the arrowhead is the main thing.
The arrowheads can be quite easily broken, so it’s important to remember that if you are using them to hit targets, they could break, so you might want to make a few replacements.