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This new functional model was inspired by the archaeology of ancient Mexico.  In 2011, Occpaleo was allowed to mold and cast examples of authentic shell atlatl finger grips from Colima Mexico.  This particular example is among the finest known to archaeology(last photo shows the original) and is from the Langdon Pre-Columbian Collection(estate of Lynn Langdon of Buhl, Idaho, ex John Baugh, Aboriginal Antiquities, Rodney Michel BC Artifacts collections).  It is from the Shaft Tomb Complex(around 2,000 BP) and is made in Spondylus shell.


This type of artifact was often misidentified in the past as "ear rings" because of the drilled holes.  In recent times, these loops have been spotlighted again, and match up perfectly with the famous examples of atlatls with shell loops found in the museums of Europe.  The most well known is the atlatl that Cortes sent back to Spain, that was guilded with gold and fit with shell loops, currently residing in the British Museum.


The castings were tested in functional atlatl throwing, and worked very well, but often uncomfortable for daily or prolonged sport use.  They can not be adjusted for larger fingers, or sretch out to match fingers the way that braintan buckskin does. They are made with modern epoxy, much stronger than a plaster casts, and are strong enough for use in this way.  The main shaft is made in a Central American Walnut, and the total length is 18 inches long.

Pre-Columbian Style Atlatl

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