Ball-Headed Club

Ball-Headed Club

late 1700s-early 1800s

Wood (maple?)

Overall: 58.6 x 7.8 x 13.1 cm (23 1/16 x 3 1/16 x 5 3/16 in.)

Andrew R. and Martha Holden Jennings Fund 1991.21


This club carries one of the richest known records of images representing Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) clan (nindoodem) identities; clan relationships shaped native politics through the 1800s. Included is an antlered creature, perhaps a caribou, along with mammals, birds, and powerful spirit beings: the thunderbird, its wings outstretched, and perhaps the long-tailed underwater panther. The ball at the striking end is held in a jaw-like form that likely refers to an animal’s muzzle; such imagery invoked a protector being that endowed the club’s owner with power.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email