The book Guns of the Western Indian War (Dorsey) offers a fascinating look at the weapons carried by plains warriors of the American west turned in to (or captured by) the U.S. Army. Most warriors had a similar outfit: rifle, knife, war bag, and stone-headed club. I have been making ancient-looking weapons for some years. I was very interested in one image of a stone war club, so I began replicating clubs using different “styles.”
A Plains Indian warrior earned respect through battle. Warfare consisted of short raids by small groups to capture horses or kill enemies. "Counting coup" was an expression meaning that the warrior got close enough to his enemy to touch him with his hand or coup stick. To do this was considered a high honor.
Most clubs were for warfare, used in hand-to-hand combat on the ground and from the backs of horses. Often objects of pride,their owners treated some war clubs with great reverence. The craftsmanship found in many surviving examples reflects this idea. The horse culture tribes of the western plains were once considered invincible over their prairie domain, and the war club, a formidable weapon.