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Though the Cherokee were by nature a peaceful people, they were nevertheless trained and prepared for protecting themselves from surrounding tribes, and later, from the white man.
They became expert weapon-makers. Arrows crafted from flint and eagle feathers were secured to cane shafts and shot by bows made of sycamore and hickory. These bows were carefully shaped with bear oil and seasoned by fire. Buffalo hide breast-plates, shields, helmets and quivers adorned the Cherokee warriors while they wielded their stone tomahawks and flint-tipped spears.
For small game hunting, the Cherokee have earned a reputation for making superior blowguns, characterized by their outstanding workmanship and accuracy. Through these river cane tubes, the hunters would blow darts made of locust and feathered with thistle down to kill small game and birds, even at great distances.