Native American Arrowheads

Given the wide variety of Native American tribes, practices and rituals, this article alone gives not nearly enough information to include all the intricately varying artifacts out there.  However, some basic information is valuable to anyone interested in collecting these relics.

Arrowheads constitute a significant branch of Native American artifacts.  Arrowheads come in a surprising number of shapes, forms and types of stone.  They vary based on the tribe and the area they lived in, depending on their needs and the materials available.  Common materials used were stone, horn and bone before the introduction of metal by Europeans in the 1500’s.  As hand-made weaponry, arrowheads are important archaeological artifacts, marking technological advances in human civilization.

The size and shape of the arrowheads were determined by combined intended purpose of the arrow and the skill of the weapon maker.  Attributed to the Woodland phase of North American history, arrowheads typically date back to about 3,200 to 1,000 years ago.

Native Americans used arrowheads for hunting. They strapped the arrowheads to long sticks or staffs using twine or rope.  Different arrowheads were used for different game and as they advanced, unique designs improved their functions.

Native Americans greatly honored the animals they hunted. When they killed an animal in the hunt, they said a prayer for its spirit and paid respect by putting every part of the animal to use.  Because of this spiritual aspect of hunting, it’s best to avoid artifacts from Indian burial grounds, if you believe in that sort of thing.  (The angry spirits are not worth it).  But with a little luck and patience, you might be able to find an arrowhead yourself if you live in the right area of the United States!

The 1899 $5 Silver Certificate

Only one piece of currency in history has featured a Native American chief. It’s the five dollar silver certificate, produced from 1899 to the 1920’s.


The bill shows the Native American chief called Running Antelope, a head chief of the Hunkpapa tribe of Lokata Indians. He died a few years before the U.S. produced the bill, just barely missing the chance to see himself commemorated.


The image on the bill caused some controversy among Native Americans; the image shows Running Antelope wearing a Pawnee head dress since his Sioux head dress was too tall to fit on the bill.

It’s not a rare note. But if you find it in excellent condition, it can be worth upwards of $3,000. Heavily circulated bills are more in the under $300 range. Notes with stars are replacement notes, and are worth quite a lot!