Elk Tine Quirt


    This 20-inch quirt is made from an extra-long top tine of an elk.  Perhaps this is from an extinct specie of elk, judging from its thickness and length.  There supposedly was a Plains Elk, which is now extinct, smaller and with bigger horns than today's species.

   The quirt is intended for war, used as the sole weapon, to slap the enemy across the face and call them "a dog".  The base of the tine was sawed, leaving a pointed extension, which can also serve as a club.  Among most Plains Indian tribes, only the chief or leader was entitled to be able to make such a weapon. 

   The lash of the club is commercial harness leather from, perhaps horse reins.  It is attached through a hole into the base of the elk tine and secured with a skewer, hidden with brass tacks.  Red trade at the base is spiral beaded with size 10 navy blue and size 12 green and baby-blue beads.

   The grip of the quirt is a long strip of tanned otter, held to the handle with a thong.