Scapula knives, squash knives and cleavers are made from portions of bison scapulas (shoulder blades). Thin areas of scapulas served as the cutting edge with thicker ridges often serving as handles. Prehistoric people often made Scapula knives/squash knives and cleavers from broken bison scapula hoe blades, a form of recycling and therefore come in many shapes and sizes.
They are found on Plains archaeological sites from Oklahoma, north to the Middle Missouri River in the Dakotas. There is evidence that some of the tools were used to cut cooked squash into rings which were strung on long poles to dry for winter storage. Archaeologists believe they were used for cutting many other soft items as well.