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The Shepherd’s Axe

The Shepherd’s Axe is a light axe with a long and straight wooden shaft, often with a metal tip at the base. The shafts were usually engraved, as their owners had plenty of time for crafting. Many old shepherd’s axes are considered works of art. The axe head is shaped to sit comfortably in the hand could also be used as a walking stick (like a miner’s axe and older kinds of ice picks).

In the 10th century, Hungarian warriors carried light axes on long shafts, known as a Fokos. Before them, the Bulgarians used a similar design. During the 15th century, the shepherd’s axe migrated to Central Europe from modern-day Romania. The axe was used mainly by shepherds as a versatile tool that served as a small axe, a hammer and a walking stick all in one.

Although the axe was no good for cutting down large trees, it was ideal for smaller branches. In Slovakia and Poland, shepherds were inseparable from their axes, which often included heavy decorative straps.

Replica forged by @ritterforge