We went to Castlewood canyon today to learn about the atlatl (pronounced at-lat (rhymes with fat) -ul.)
This is an atlatl.
This is a dart.
I know it looks long like a spear, but it’s called a dart. The word atlatl refers to the piece of wood that is used to throw the dart. Long before bows and arrows, people all over the world used this throwing device to hunt. The flint point would be attached to a skinny arrow piece that stuck into the dart, that way when you hit your mark, you didn’t have to make a whole new dart, just a new point piece. You know those ball throwing things that people use for their dogs, that is a device like the atlatl. The base piece gives extra energy to the dart which builds up kinetic energy as it waits to be thrown. The girls made a dart and then we went mammoth hunting.
There is an art to the throw, knowing when to let go of the dart with the two fingers that are holding it, and hanging on to the atlatl when the dart leaves.
It was fun to throw, Hannah had great form.
We got an atlatl blank to take home with the darts, now we just need to chisel the recess and point on it.
We drove around the dam on the other side of the park and saw lots of bluebird boxes and lots of electric blue birds sitting in and on them. The weather was nice and cool, but we didn’t hike at the park. We made a Wal-mart run and then went home to watch a marathon of new Sherlocks from the beginning of the season.
Watch out mammoths….Grace and Hannah are on your trail!