The Atlatl, Woomera, Miru and Throwing Board

Last modified on 12 April 2014

The atlatl is a device that is used to throw a light weight spear called a dart with considerable mechanical advantage. Atlatls were used worldwide before the advent of the bow and arrow. Atlatl (pronounced like 'atlantic') is an Aztec word for spear thrower. In Australia, the Aborigines call it the Woomera. The oldest known atlatl is more than 19,000 years old. It is believed that the atlatl was in use for more than 40,000 years. With the atlatl, humans gained a tremendous hunting advantage and this accelerated the extinction of many large mammals throughout the world. The power that the atlatl imparts to the spear is so great that the Aztecs started reusing atlatl technology to pierce the armor of Spanish Conquistadoras in the sixteenth century.

Today, many people are rediscovering the atlatl for the recreational purposes of competition and hunting game. Competition involves the following events: long distance; accuracy and target throwing. Some competitions are restricted to the use of primitive materials and technologies. Other competitions allow the use of modern high tech materials and construction methods.

The World Record for long distance currently stands at 848.56 feet. This throw was made by Dave Ingvall of St. Joseph, Missouri, USA on 15 July 1995 in Aurora, Colorado. Dave used a carbon fibre atlatl with an aluminum dart of his own construction.


Useful Atlatl Resources 

Atlatl Internet Links | Throwers | Manufacturers | Literature | Calendar of Events


Atlatl Throwers and Associations

World Atlatl Association ; Michigan Atlatl Association ; Minnesota Atlatl Association ; California Atlatl Association ; Missouri Atlatl Association ; Ohio Atlatl Association ; Pennsylvania Atlatl Association ; Tyoga Atlatl Association ; Chautauqua Spears Atlatl League

To find other Atlatl Throwers in your region, please visit the Internet Directory of Atlatl Clubs and throwers


Photos of atlatls: Equipment | Competition | Hunting | Eskimo Throwing Boards
The following atlatls are available on the flight-toys.com website.
North American Artifacts
Item Code
Price (USD)
Description
Click on Photo Below
AF4
$1826
Mississippian Atlatl from Cave in Kentucky

Previously sold atlatls can be seen on the following links:

These items were sold from the North American Artifacts web page
Item Code
Description
Price (USD)
TB147
Lake Texcoco Fishing Atlatl, 19th Century
$75
TB107
Lake Texcoco Fishing Atlatl, 19th Century
$75
TB80
Lake Texcoco Fishing Atlatl, 19th Century
$68
TB146
Lake Texcoco Fishing Atlatl, 19th Century
$63


These items were sold from the Australian Aboriginal Artifacts web page.
Item Code
Description
Price (USD)
GH34
Aboriginal Woomera Spear Thrower
$270
TB49
Miru with Incised Totemic Markings
$185
TB45
Cape York Woomera with Bivalve Shell
$166
TB07
Aboriginal Woomera Spear Thrower
$155
TB48
Miru with Totemic Markings
$146
TB22
Aboriginal Woomera Spear Thrower
$145
TB20
Aboriginal Woomera Spear Thrower
$140
TB288
Central Desert Woomera
$138
TB54
Large Miru Spear Thrower
$123
TB47
Miru Spear Thrower
$123
TB46
Cape York Woomera Spear Thrower
$111
TB55
Small Miru with Cutting Stone Blade
$109
TB23
Aboriginal Woomera Spear Thrower
$61

These items were sold from the Lithic & Artifact Reproductions web page
Item Code
Description
Price (USD)
BR82
Mammoth Hunter Atlatl & Dart Set + 2 Blowguns
$109
TB62
Atlatl by Norm Blaker
$53
TB61
Atlatl by Norm Blaker
$48


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