Leroy Thomas is a hunter and artisan inspired by the ancient Cherokee art of making knives. In this handcrafted knife he pairs rich black obsidian, a blade material used for thousands of years, with a deer jaw handle. This exquisite piece can serve as a functional shearing knife for hunters or make a perfect gift for collectors of rare knives and weapons.
- Knife handcrafted by Leroy Thomas (Cherokee)
- Obsidian blade
- White Tail deer jaw handle
- Brown sinew lacing
- Knife measures 8” x 1-1/2”; blade measures 4” and handle measures 4”
- Comes with a signed Certificate of Authenticity
Handcrafted works of Native American art require special care. For more information about proper care and cleaning, please read our Care Guide.
Leroy Thomas is a Cherokee artisan and woodsman from North Carolina who now resides in Idaho. He is a seasoned woodsman, experienced hunter and trained taxidermist who handcrafts knives from a variety of animal antlers and bones.
Native Americans have a deep connection to and respect for this natural world, and their reverence for nature deeply influences their art. In hunting cultures, the hunters prayed before setting out on the hunt and afterward to give thanks and send an animal’s spirit to the heavens. Every part of an animal was put to use. For Native Americans, nature is a gift from the Creator and the art of knife-making makes us of and celebrates these many gifts.
Early Native American cutting knives were made from sharpened stone, such as flint, chert and obsidian. Blades were created through a technique called flaking, in which the natural edges of the stone were fractured with a special tool. Flaking is very difficult to do and only accomplished by the most skilled artisans. Ancient stone knives created through flaking have been dated back to 12000 B.C. Obsidian was a particularly prized blade because it can be flaked so thin, creating a very effective, precise cutting tool. As knife-making became more sophisticated, Native Americans attached these obsidian blades to handles of bone, antler or horn, tying them together with a sinew lace. Cherokee artisan Leroy Thomas is one of a very small group of people who still handcrafts knives using these ancient methods.Read our Native American Carvings Collector's Guide.
At Shumakolowa Native Arts, we guarantee that your purchase is an original and authentic work handcrafted by Native American artists as defined by the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990. We ask our artists to complete an extensive certification process, providing a CIB (Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood) card and other documentation of their Native American heritage. Our team of experts carefully inspects every product to guarantee it is handcrafted using traditional, sustainable processes and natural materials of only the highest quality. We record the place and date of each purchase and pride ourselves in paying a fair price that allows artists to make a living practicing their craft. Every work of handcrafted art comes with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by an artist or buyer. At a time when many commercially-made products are being sold as handcrafted Native American art, our in-depth purchase process allows us to guarantee the authenticity of every unique piece of fine art we offer. For more than 35 years, we have made it a priority to visit artists in their studio or home to purchase their latest handcrafted pieces and learn about their work. We have developed lasting relationships with artists, as well as dealers and collectors, and we take pride in being a trusted destination for fine Native American art.