How to Build an Atlatl Spear Thrower

Before the time of bows and arrows, there used to be the atlatl, or a spear-thrower which is an ancient weapon that can fling a spear or a dart at such a pace that it could even penetrate a giant mammoth’s hide. Around 10,000 years ago, this was used in North America. Native Australians and Aleuts also used this deadly weapon 50 years back.

You can make your very own atlatl in the traditional Kuikuru style which comes from the Amazon Basin. However, before reading the steps in to making one, you have to realise that it is a dangerous and deadly weapon so don’t try this on anyone.


  • 1

    In order to make a perfect atlatl, you will need drill with one seven inch bit and one inch boring bit. You also need to have a hot glue and gun for making the dart along with sandpaper, saber saw, utility knife and electrical tape.

  • 2

    Now that you have collected everything, start working on making the spear thrower. One to your piece of wood, trace the shape of the thrower. In order to make a finger hole, use the wood boring bit. Make a one inch hole if you have long fingers. In order to round off the edges, use a knife and then sand it perfectly.

  • 3

    Now, drill a hole for the peg as it will be the hook. Once you have done this, put some wood glue in it and then insert your peg.

  • 4

    Now it’s time for you to make darts. First, sharpen one end of the dowel. Although a knife could do the trick, you can also use some other thing. Be creative. Add stones, bones or even steel points around the edges. On the other end, drill a little dimple. If you have feathers, hot glue them on each side but make sure that the quills are in front. It is important to have feathers as they will make sure that the darts don’t derail.

  • 5

    Now that you have made your atlatl, it is time to put it to good use. However, make sure that you don’t use it on the neighbour’s dog or the neighbour or anyone who annoys you. Through the hole that you made, slide your finger and with your other fingers, grip the handle. Hold the dart and squeeze the atlatl peg.

  • 6

    The best stance to do this by pointing your left foot at the target. Moreover, make sure that you are balanced and comfortable with your posture.

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