If a woodchuck could chuck wood? Ah yes, the quintessential question of the nature of a creature that has apparently been inappropriately named. There is no answer… And yes. My whimsical reverie was spawned by an actual weapon. A rather unusual weapon, in that it is made primarily of wood, though this doesn’t make it any less menacing in appearance…

The Leiomano

Leiomano

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Now you might be wondering what this weapon has got to do with wood chucks chucking wood… Well I’ll tell you. There are a number of sites I encountered that listed this weapon as a “Hawaiian Throwing Axe”. Get it? A wooden throwing weapon? So like if a woodchuck could chuck wood, (and this woodchuck also just happened to be a weapons fanatic) this is probably what they would be chucking. Right at your head. Ouch. Except for one thing. This isn’t really a throwing axe.

Yeah, sorry. This is in fact a Hawaiian melee weapon. Seriously, if you look at the design, you can see that it would be ill suited to throwing. Weapons designed for throwing usually use harder materials, as many a throw could end up hitting something hard, like a rock, the ground, etc. This weapon uses wood, cord, and shark teeth. Shark teeth fastened in place with a twine of sorts. And while shark teeth are great for ripping up soft flesh, they would not survive an impact with a hard place, much less the leather thong or twine holding it in place.

Here’s another example:

leiomano

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As you can see from the pic, the teeth are aligned just right so that any blow from this, glancing, pulling, cleaving, etc would almost certainly draw blood. And while it might not be as effective as a sword, you better believe that a battle with combatants taking repeated hits from this would get torn to shreds and bleed to death.

And if you take into account that the heavy wooden head could probably deliver pretty hefty blows all by itself, even without the benefit of shark teeth, you can see how this would make for a very effective melee weapon. Here’s a closer look at how it’s all put together:

Leiomano

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That is one lethal and mean looking weapon. Even if it’s made out of wood. And string. And shark teeth. No self respecting woodchuck would go anywhere near one of these…

Leiomano – [Kumulau.com]