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Crooked Knife, Larger w/Chip Carved Handle - (Repro)


This is a larger crooked knife - a size that is/was used by Wabanaki birch bark canoe makers and in wigwam construction. Crooked knives used in basketmaking and finer work would be smaller. This crooked knife by Kenneth Hamilton has an elegantly chip carved handle of maple and a handmade blade of hand forged carbon steel and hollow ground on the bottom, then polished.. Vintage tarred cod line secured the tang of the blade wrapping the blade to the handle. Cod line was used here in Maine in the 1700-1800's for hand-lining/fishing for cod fish. Ken also made a sheath for this knife of commercial black leather - shown in one of the photos below and will be included with this knife.

The handle was carved and blade fitted and wrapped by Kenneth Hamilton. Ken is a well known artist of reproduction trade items -1680 -mid 1800. Ken is of Lakota heritage and an adopted Ottawa. Ken Hamilton researches his trade silver and other designs, spending time pouring over books, pictures and visiting museum collections. I know that museum directors and collections managers in every Maine museum are familiar with Ken and his work. It is well researched. Since his mother is the leading authority on trade silver - Ken knows his stuff. He is the only craftsman/artist who is not a tribally enrolled member whose work I purchase and sell. Most of the items he makes are not being made by tribal members and were items that - back in the day - were made by native and non-natives alike. Trade silver items, which Ken makes at times, were never native made but traded to and valued by many different tribes. Paintings and photos show tribal members wearing trade silver items, sometimes many many trade silver items at once. ------ Ken is married to a Penobscot woman.

The crooked knife was a tool used by Wabanaki Native Americans - even prior to European contact - (Wabanaki Confederacy: Abenaki, Maliseet, MicMac/Mi'kmaq - Canadian spelling, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot.) The blade of the those early crooked knives was either a knapped stone or a beaver tooth incisor (both types have been found). Crooked knives are used in birch bark canoe making, wigwam construction and basket making.

10.25" long from blade top to handle top. The blade is 4.5" long. Handle back is 6.5" long and 1.5" across. The handle has a beveled top front and sides. Chip carved triangles are side bevels and the sides of the front and at bottom of the front of the handle. Ken has added an elegant engrailed decoration to the top of the blade - shown in one of the photos below.

Crooked Knife; Larger
Crooked Knife, front of handle
Crooked Knife; design at top of blade
Crooked Knife, front of handle from top
Crooked Knife, with sheath
Weight: 14 oz