Blow Darts

Discussion in 'Primitive Tools' started by werewolf won, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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  2. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    These are at the Whaling Museum in New Bedford. They are in a woven quiver that has the bottom dipped in tar or maybe some other latex like product. These are part of the places visited by whalers display.
     
  3. EternalLove

    EternalLove Guide

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    Interesting. It looks like cattail fluff or maybe fur.
     
  4. Hillbilly stalker

    Hillbilly stalker Scout

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    The Cherokee used a similar dart with thistle for the fletching. That's interesting
     
  5. Medicine maker

    Medicine maker Guide

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    If you take those little pins with the pearl on the end and take some paracord, melt it to it, and fluff it up. You can make the same thing.

    If you see these in real life they are quite impressive. The cattail is actually tied on. And really really packed down. Almost like a ball of cloth but its fluffy cattail.
     
  6. tristndad

    tristndad Supporter Supporter

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    @werewolf won , Please don't think I am dumb, cause I have spent my entire life trying to hide that fact. I am trying to understand. You are saying these are in a whaler museum and they are darts made for a blowgun. You mean to tell me these are darts used for hunting whales, probably out of a hand dug canoe of sorts? If this is true, I am flabbergasted! If not, like I said please don't think I'm dumb, and please explain some more.

    I have been in a sea kayak with a Humpback a few hundred ft away, I have no idea how a blow dart would have worked if my lifestyle depended on harvesting him/her. Obviously it would have been a team of hunters and not a husband and wife team out site-seeing, but still. I would love to know more!
     
  7. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    No, the section was full of stuff that whalers picked up from places they visited. The darts, masks, war clubs edged with shark teeth, tiki statues etc.
     
  8. tristndad

    tristndad Supporter Supporter

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    I was trying to picture my wife and I trying to take down the whale we saw while kayaking! We where both extremely scared it was going to breach under us after it dived. They are magnificent beings, and have a tendency to make you feel very small. I, for the life of me couldn't see how those darts would even make a scratch, let alone tKe down a whale. Thanks for the clarification. Sounds like a really cool museum to visit.
     
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  9. CowboyJesus

    CowboyJesus Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    i'm struggling with scale here, especially hearing "whaling"-how long are these?

    [​IMG]
    i've done cherokee style with thistle down, and they are definitely fluffier-only one end of the fibers are tied down with the other end free, whereas those in the museum look almost encased in the way they're tied on. i'd love to hear more on how they were made and what they were used for.
     
  10. Nightflyer

    Nightflyer Supporter Supporter

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    Kinda like this?
     
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  11. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    They were longer than I have seen darts in the past, around 12” to 14” I’d guess. I wonder if the quiver was coated in tar to contain the poison?

    I could not tell how the fluff was attached, I almost suspect it was affixed with some kind of hide glue or resin.
     
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  12. ywaltzucanrknrl

    ywaltzucanrknrl Tracker

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    Clifford Ashley's life and books have really interested me. I would really like to see the New Bedford museum, but doubtful I ever will. The whalers traveled widely (the whole globe) looking for whales---Ashley wrote some great books about the travels----they saw a lot of islands with their native populations and I suspect a lot of the "stuff" they collected from their travels is in the museum. Darts like those would have been little to no use in the daily life of a whaler---harpoons, knives, tar, marlin spikes, needles, thread and ropes were their main tools. Their craft depended a lot on knots and ropes.
    Thanks for the posts WW.
     
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  13. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Yes these and many other artifacts were on display and other than being collected as trinkets had nothing to do with whaling. There are significant numbers of actual whaler’s tools and a room full of tens of thousands (maybe millions) of dollars worth of scrimshaw, as well as the ½ scale model of a whaling ship and an actual whale boat. The entry hall has multiple skeletal remains of whales suspended from the ceiling, one of a blue whale that leaks several ounces of oil every week into a containment jar and the experts expect it to continue to do so into the 2060’s I believe. Tons of art work are displayed, and I’d imagine more tons of digitalized data, not readily available to the general public, are housed there as well for researchers.
     
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  14. OrienM

    OrienM Guide

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    Maybe South American? Neat set...:dblthumb:
     
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  15. R Stowe

    R Stowe MOA #61 Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I

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    That's a sweet blowgun. Is it one piece?
     
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  16. CowboyJesus

    CowboyJesus Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    split it to hollow it, and glued it back together...so basically yes. one of my home made pieces that makes me happy...though i'm still fiddling with it a bit
     
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  17. R Stowe

    R Stowe MOA #61 Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I

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    Nice. I've looked at some that have the nodes busted out and then sanded, but if it's done the primitive way that's days of work. Do you have a thread?
     
  18. CowboyJesus

    CowboyJesus Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    nope-did it before i was active on here, so i didn't photograph my process as much back then.

    i got a lot of my insight and instructions out of the book "primitive skills and crafts" compiled by richard and linda jamison. there's actually a whole chapter/article on the cherokee blow gun and dart, with the traiditional and more modern approaches of how to make them. highly recommend the book for that in particular, and if you have any interest in primitive skills. contents include primitive pottery, making hide glue, fire piston, atlatl, and much more!

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. R Stowe

    R Stowe MOA #61 Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I

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    Awesome. I downloaded it. Thanks!
     
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  20. kronin323

    kronin323 the barbarian Supporter

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    You just put your lips together and blow... ;)
     
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