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Atlatls (spear chuckers)

 
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sally_in_wales
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Joined: 06 Mar 2005
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Location: sunny wales
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 07 6:07 pm    Post subject: Atlatls (spear chuckers)  Reply with quote    

Ok, I'm sure you can't actually use them for hunting in this country, so this is a bit OT, but we tried some out at the weekend and had so much fun that Gareth has spent the day making us both atlatls. These are in spalted cinnamon wood, and will probably need weighting, but we won't know that til we make the darts and try them out.

So, just the bindings to do to secure the antler points into the end, and I'm itching to see how well these first attempts work. They are pretty though

gil
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Joined: 08 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 07 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'm going to have to look up how these are used.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlatl

Last edited by gil on Tue Sep 04, 07 6:13 pm; edited 1 time in total

sally_in_wales
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 07 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

They effectively extend your arm so when you hurl the spear it goes further

joanne



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 7094
Location: Morecambe, Lancashire
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 07 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Ayla uses those in the Earth's Children books (Clan of the Cave Bear) - I never really understood how they worked until now

sally_in_wales
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 07 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thats right, I think the ones they use in those books have finger loops though. There seem to be a lot of variations. I've been fascinated by the surviving prehistroic ones for ages, but hadnt had a chance to try one out til now. Huge fun to use and I reckon wouldnt take too long to get moderately effective with either

dougal



Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 7184
Location: South Kent
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 07 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

What's the difference between these and a Woomera?

sally_in_wales
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 07 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

They do the same thing, Atlatl is the Aztec name I think, I don't know enough about the regional shape differences though to say whether there is anything more fundamentally different than that though, in my limited experience its much the same thing

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 07 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Such a thing turns a light spear into a far, far more dangerous weapon. Fun toys, but you can easily see how that kind of thing turned stone age (?) man into a dar more dangerous hunter. Kind of scary.

sally_in_wales
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 07 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Quite right, you can imagine what an impact they made when they were first a new technology, must have been much the same feeling as seeing the very first accurate rifle put to use. You also need relatively little physical strength compared to something like javelin throwing, must have been a massive advantage.

For an afternoon testing yourself against a long field and a target though, I found them much more interesting than bow. I like archery too but there is a more intuitive element to the atlatl, far less 'aiming', much more just trusting to your muscles to send everything in the right direction with all the gradual improvement in accuracy that repeated practice brings.

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