Tools and weapons main content.

Tools and weapons

Part of Northwest Coast Hall.


The elements displayed here represent some of the major economic activities of the Tsimshianic. The tools used in woodworking, the principal craft of the Tsimshianic, were few and simple: adzes, axes, and knives. Before contact with Europeans, woodworking tools had stone blades; but soon after iron obtained from traders replaced stone. Bows and arrows were not only used in hunting but also in war. In aboriginal times, Tsimshianic women knew how to weave, but this craft had disappeared by the end of the nineteenth century. Fishing, the most important source of food, is represented here by a few hooks, a club used to kill large fish before landing them, and tools used in making nets. Snowshoes were used by those Tsimshianic who lived some distance inland from the relatively mild coast.