All inspired by archaeological and ethnographic examples, we have several atlatl design choices here that have been handcrafted with natural and traditional materials. On our previous Atlatls page we have darts made to match these throwers in all authentic materials. We also now have aluminum take down practice darts for sustained field use without damage that would occur with primitive darts. In 2010 we have added our replica/cast series.(see below)
A mix of atlatl styles from around the world in space and time. Museum atlatls can be copied for strict replicas, or their design elements can be used to make artistic versions of archaeological designs. When the best of these elements are put together, design hybrids can perfom great as a modern sport atlatl.
Inuit model with finger hole grip
Eskimo style handle stretched out into a modern sport atlatl
BASKETMAKER STYLE ATLATL $45
The Basketmaker style is named after the cultures of the American southwest. This design is unique to the Americas, and it is the one most found in the Archaeological record, throughout rock art and in dry caves. Our model is based on the average measurements of those recorded, and we have chosen the classic materials of Osage Orange wood and genuine Braintan Buckskin. The soft loops form an easy to use grip for both left and right handed throwers, and the channel in front of the spur makes this model the easiest to "load" with a dart. This atlatl is a perfect match to our Shepherd model practice darts. To see more pictures, and/or to order with credit card, see (ITEMS FOR SALE) page.
The Classic American Basketmaker Atlatl in Osage
MESO AMERICAN STYLE ATLATL $55
This atlatl is based on a study of the Aztec empire atlatls, and its related cultures up to the southern United States. This atlatl was inspired by the great ceremonial spear throwers scene in museums, but is mostly based on the archaeological remains of atlatls that were used functionally in the area of Central America. This model is not a strict replica, but one that gives a feel of history to a modern sport thrower. The main shaft is Central American Rosewood, and the loops are made in smoked Braintan Buckskin woven in a Central American hand weaving technique that uses loops around the fingers. This "basketmaker" style grip allows for the "split grip" or "finger pinch" style of throwing with ease and durability. (see ITEMS FOR SALE) to pay with credit card, or to join with multiple items.
Traditional Atlatl in Bamboo $25 This atlatl is a blend of several examples found in the archaeological record. It features the basketmaker style buckskin loops of the desert southwest, and the spur was inspired by an archaeological antler example found in Florida. After seeing the bamboo atlatls from New Guinea, we realized that this material had the perfect flex for a modern sport atlatl. The atlatl was made from an extra large 5 inch diameter section of Moso bamboo, a wonderful sustainable resource. This is a great starter design, with the finger loops fitting both right and left handed throwers. The atlatl is 24 inches long, and has a very traditional look despite not being a strict replica. The spur is lashed with flax fiber and hide glue. (see ITEMS FOR SALE)
The Indian Knoll Atlatl model $95
This atlatl is an interpretation of the excavations at Indian Knoll, KY. Dating to around 3 to 4,000 years ago, this grave site contained items in burials that most archaeologists believe are atlatl components. Antler handles and hooks were found with drilled holes along with bannerstones. Objects from Indian Knoll in all three categories have been replicated here in the original materials. Although some of these were found in line together, it is not known how they were connected, since any wood would have disintegrated thousands of years ago. We have chosen a thick sapling of eastern Wild Currant as the main shaft connector, since this easily fit the known dimensions of the drilled holes, and was a favorite wood for the Native Americans of the East to use for arrows. The total length of the atlatl is about 20 inches long, speculating that the length of East Coast atlatls might be shorter than those of the Great Plains. The handle and spur are made in whitetail deer antler, and the hourglass bannerstone is made in Grey Banded Slate, as were many of eastern original bannerstones. Although this model was tested as functional, it was made as a museum quality item for archaeology demonstration or display. (see ITEMS FOR SALE page)
Possible look of the Eastern Woodlands atlatls
Bannerstone replica in Banded Slate
Spur of Whitetail deer antler
THE PALEOLITHIC SERIES
The Paleolithic replica/cast series was inspired by our recent trip to France to see the wonderful cave art there. The spear thrower(called propulseurs) components from that region are perhaps the oldest in the world, with some dating back over 20,000 years old. Most of the originals were made in reindeer antler, with some made in mammoth ivory. In this section, we have recreated and interpreted several of the ancient objects so that they might look and function as they would have if their handles and spurs were still attached. The original idea was just to test the design out, but it turns out to be a great functional art piece as well. We hope to add more every year as more trips are made and more artifacts studied. Unlike the previous generation of plaster casts, these replicas are made in a high quality epoxy infused with glass fibers for structural strength. They have actually thrown light darts in testing, but are intended for archaeological display and not prolonged field use.
The Licking Bison of La Madeleine $35
This modern replica shows the famous "Licking Bison" of La Madeline, which is considered one of the finest carvings of the Paleolithic in Europe. From the site of La Madeleine(12-15,000 BP) this bison's tail is believed to be the spur of an atlatl(propulsuer) spear thrower. It was not found connected to the handle at the time of excavation, but have shown it here as it might have looked as a functioning spear thrower. The bison head is a great study in depth perception, as one horn is raised in bold relief, and the other is carved in. This shows the bison turning its head to lick its flank. The total length is around 15 inches long. (see ITEMS FOR SALE page to order with a credit card)
The "Licking Bison" of La Madeleine
The Faon aux L'Oiseaux Spear thrower $35
Dating to the Magdalenian period in France(12 to 17,000 years ago), this is one of the oldest and most famous spear throwers in the world. It is from the cave site of La Mas d'Azil in southern France. The original was carved out of reindeer antler and shows the typical drilled holes found in atlatls(propulseurs) of the region. It is believed by most archaeologists that these holes were used to attach these antler and ivory atlatl hooks to handles of wood or leather. This replica/cast is made in modern epoxy to be much stronger than the older plaster casts. In France it is called the "Faon aux Oiseaux" or "Fawn with Bird." This replica was inspired by our recent trip to France to see the wonderful cave art there. (see ITEMS FOR SALE) to purchase with credit card, or to purchase mulitiple items.
Replica of the famous "Faon aux L'oiseaux" spear thrower
The Mammoth of Bruniquel Spear thrower $35
The original from Bruniquel rock shelter archaeological site in France is also one of the most famous spear thrower objects in the world, and the original was carved out of reindeer antler. It dates to the Magdalenian Period in Europe(12 - 17,000 years ago). This replica/cast was made in modern epoxy to be much stronger than the plaster casts of the previous generation. The handle on this atlatl section was not found attached to the spur, which is considered to be one of the finest examples of Paleolithic carvings in the world. It is believed by most archaeologists that the drilled holes at the end of the handle were for attaching to a wood or leather grip section.(see (ITEMS FOR SALE) to purchase with credit card or to purchase multiple items.
The Mammoth of Bruniquel propulseur
The Spear Thrower of La Madeleine $35
Called the "Creeping Hyena" of La Madeleine, it was excavated from that archaeological rock shelter as dating to the period of around 12 to 17,000 years. The original was carved in mammoth ivory, and it represents one of the most amazing carvings of the Upper Paleolithic in Europe. The carved animal is thought to be a Hyena by most in Europe and a calf by most shown here in the United States. It has a carved in spur for use as an atlatl, but the handle section was not attached when excavated. It is reproduced here as a complete atlatl in modern epoxy polymer for strength. (see ITEMS FOR SALE) to purchase with credit card or to purchase multiple items.
The Spear Thrower of La Madeleine
Modern made atlatl tie on weights
Modern Tie-on Atlatl weights $20
These are modern made weights of stone that are made to tie on to your own atlatls, or to be added to one of ours. They are styled after archaeology barstones and boatstones that have been weighed and measured in the collections of the Smithsonian. They are made from local stream rocks of granite or pipestone, and are ground to the correct shape and mass to work correctly on modern atlatls. They are signed and dated to protect the archaeological record. (see ITEMS FOR SALE)
Indian Knoll bannerstone replica in East Coast Black Steatite