Columbia River

Cindy is an expert atlatl spear thrower.  She had practice using a ball thrower to whip tennis balls farther down the street so Jenna would run after it and thus exercise.  So she naturally could throw her spear with an atlatl.  

Cindy throwing spear (dart) with an atlatl

We visited the Nez Perce National Park on our last day cruising the Columbia and Snake Rivers. The Indian Interpretive Center was small.  We saw a history movie about the Nez Perce Indians and their struggles during the settler migration at the end of the Oregon Trail as well as their desire to maintain their traditions and languages.  Language is the heart and soul of a culture so Indian youth are learning the language of their forefathers.


Then we went outside and learned how to throw a spear (dart) using an atlatl.  Cindy didn’t quite make the target but she was thrilled to have gotten the spear that far down the course. I hit the target (barely) on my third try.

Fritz on his third try throwing a spear with an atlatl

The atlatl was the precursor to the bow and appeared in many parts of the world.  It consists of a tooth at the end of the lever to support the feathered-end of the dart.  It acts like an extension to your arm and applies more energy to the dart, sending it farther and with more force.  

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