Atlatl for Sport Throwing, Made by Norm Blaker

Item TB62 

This item was sold on 17 December 2006 for $53

Similar artifacts for sale are often found on the Lithic Artifacts web page. 

Historical Pricing information for this item and similar artifacts can be found at: Historical Artifact Prices

The atlatl is a device that is used to throw a light weight spear called a dart with considerable mechanical advantage. Atlatls were widely used world wide 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 or Miru. 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. The atlatl gave man 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 re-adopted the technology for it's armor piercing capabilities against the Spaniards 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.

For detailed information about atlatls from different cultures, please visit the flight-toys atlatl web page.

This atlatl is a contemporary model made for sport throwing of darts by Norm Blaker of Michigan. It features a wooden shaft with a bone handle that is epoxied into place. There is a single leather finger grip lashed to the shaft near the handle with fine sinew. The bone handle has a single hole with a long leather cord inserted into the hole. The peg, made out of the tip of a deer antler, is lashed on to a piece of grooved bone that is separately lashed onto the wooden shaft. All of the lashing is done with fine sinew, some of which is braided for extra strength. This atlatl also has a balance weight made out of carved stone that is lashed with sinew closer to the handle than dart end of the shaft. The construction of this atlatl is very nicely done and it has many clever primitive technology features. It is an excellent tool for throwing atlatl darts. Length = 65 cm ; Weight = 308 gm

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