The atlatl is a primitive hunting
weapon comprising a five-to-eight-foot flexible dart and a
throwing stick (atlatl). The atlatl acts as an extension of
the arm and amplifies the force that can be applied to the
dart, allowing flight distances into the hundreds-of-feet
range. Atlatls were used by a wide range of cultures around
the world, over a large span of time. In the American Southwest,
the atlatl was largely replaced by the more accurate bow and
arrow around 1500-2000 years ago.
The Atlatl Club was started
by Kellam Throgmorton, the Paraprof, and Tucker Robinson,
class of 2006, after learning how to throw from April Kamp-Whittaker
at the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center. April was interning
at Crow Canyon at the time and her father, John Whittaker,
coaches the Raging Cows, Grinnell College's atlatl team. Currently,
the Atlatl Club is run by two Co-Chairs: Marie-Page Phelps
and Zach Yates.
The darts we use were ordered
as a kit from Thunderbird Atlatl, and the atlatls were built
by Kellam Throgmorton using a variety of models and wood types.
Here are a few pictures from
Sunday afternoon atlatl club meetings.