A Bowie knife is a pattern of a fixed-blade fighting knife created by James Black in the early 19th century for Jim Bowie, who had become famous for his use of a large knife at a duel known as the Sandbar Fight.
Since the first incarnation, the Bowie knife has come to incorporate several recognizable and characteristic design features, although in common usage the term refers to any large sheath knife with a crossguard and a clip point.
The Bowie knife's design also lends itself to use as a hunting knife for skinning or butchering game. The curved top clip bevel of the blade, when suitably sharpened, may be used to remove the skin from a carcass, while the straight portion of the blade edge, toward the guard, can be used for cutting meat. Arkansas culturalist and researcher Russell T. Johnson describes the James Black knife in the following manner and at the same time captures the quintessence of the Bowie Knife: "It must be long enough to use as a sword, sharp enough to use as a razor, wide enough to use as a paddle, and heavy enough to use as a hatchet." Most such knives intended for hunting are only sharpened on one edge, to reduce the danger of cutting oneself while butchering and skinning the carcass.