A tomahawk (“hawk”) is a small throwing axe associated with North American Indians. It was based on a Royal Navy boarding axe. Tactical tomahawks are popular with some American military personnel. It is also used by outdoorsmen, frontier re-enactors, and martial artists.


Typically a tomahawk is a small, single hand axe with single slightly-curved blade placed on a short handle. It can be hung on the belt and is convenient for hunting and camping.


Injury with a tomahawk may be:

(1) accidental during play or roughhousing

(2) accidental during tomahawk throwing incident

(3) other type of accident

(4) intentional, often homicidal

(5) misuse (including use while intoxicated)


Types of wounds may include:

(1) slashing, slicing and cutting

(2) hacking (repeated manual blows)

(3) penetration by the blade after throwing

(4) blunt injury (from the handle or blunt side of the axe)


Sometimes a tomahawk may have a pointed end added, either opposite the blade or at the end . This can cause a penetrating injury that can penetrate the skull.


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