This course will teach the skills and techniques of making and using an Atlatl.
The atlatl and dart system of hunting have been in use in the Amaricas for over 10,000 years. The Atlatl, is basically an extension of the throwing arm, that puts more energy into the thrown spear or dart. The system is more complex than that though, if the spear and atlatl are tuned correctly, the dart and atlatl flex together and act as a spring, storing energy, which is then added to the efficiency of the extended arm leaver. There is often an interesting addition to the atlatl, a stone weight called a bannerstone. This stone weight was added to the atlatl somewhere on the mid-shaft. There is some controversy about the function of a bannerstone. Some feel that the added weight was there to put more flex into the atlatl, adding force the the throw. Others feel that the weight would act as a counter balance, which allowed the hunter to hold the loaded dart motionless, for a longer period of time, while waiting for game. Also, different designs of bannerstones have been shown to reduce the noise associated with throwing the dart. From my experience in hunting large game, I tend to believe the primary purpose of the stone was to act as a counter balance to the weight of the dart. Often the difference between success and failure in hunting, is the hunters ability to control movement, during the last minutes of a hunt. The balance in the weighted atlatl, made it easier to hold loaded dart, without fatigue, for longer periods of time.
After an introduction to the history of Spears in general we will move onto atlatls and discuss this worldwide phenomenon.
Students will make a basket maker style atlatl from the Southwestern US. Sunday we will construct darts of river cane with a least 4 types of fetching demonstrated. Sunday we will throw darts for accuracy and distance
Only naturally occurring resources will be used in this class.
Purchase before 9/25/2014 at $139.00
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