Demonstration in atlatl-making slated Nov. 3

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PENDLETON -- Tamástslikt Cultural Institute's Community Academy will present local educator Tom Bailor to demonstrate how to make a wooden atlatl and dart from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 3.

The Community Academy is open to the public, 10 years of age and older, and free material kits will be provided to the first 25 attendees. Advance registration is encouraged. The making of projectile points is not included in this session.

Prehistoric people began using the atlatl, a lever-like spear thrower, about 9,000 years ago. Its purpose was to propel a long, slender, stone-tipped dart.

The atlatl is a wooden shaft with a hook-like spur at one end from which the dart is launched. The atlatl enabled hunters to hunt big game from a distance. The trajectory and accuracy of the atlatl was powerful enough to pierce animal hide.

The atlatl was a universal hunting tool uncovered not only in North America but also in Central and South America, Australia, the Arctic and many other locations.

During the 1930s archaeologist Luther Cressman conducted excavations in southeastern Oregon uncovering remnants of cane thought to have been used to make atlatl shafts. The hard, native greasewood was also used to make shafts.

Two complete atlatls found in a cache in Oregon's Roaring Springs Cave were made of mountain mahogany.

Rock weights were lashed on to the atlatl to increase the centrifugal force of the throwing arc.Community Academy is a quarterly offering of the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute to respond to the interests of the community.

Community Academy events are free.

To register, call Marjorie Waheneka, Tamástslikt Village Coordinator, at 514-966-9748 or email: marjorie.waheneka@tamastslikt.org.

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