Atlatl and Dart
Hand thrown projectiles
The atlatl and dart dates back over 40,000 years. As man evolved from the close range interaction of thrusting spears, to a need for long range weapons to be used against faster and smaller game, the atlatl was a natural solution. The atlatl, in many versions, had almost worldwide distribution, and many illustrations are presented of the variety of designs, materials and modifications employed in the various geographical areas that it is found. The other important part of the system was a flexible dart or projectile that was either hafted with a point or incorporated a detachable foreshaft.
Since there are different types of atlatl, we will concentrate on making the style that uses leather finger loops. We will also create a flexible dart out of bamboo that will have a detachable fire-hardened, wooden tip.
Useful and edible plants in California
The availability of plants and their use is governed greatly with the seasons. Certain plants found during the Fall may have matured and become too bitter to eat, while the tender leaves and shoots of the same plant are edible during the Spring. The properties of plants differ depending on the seasons and conditions they are gathered in.
The class will consist of a hike and lecture, while discussing the aboriginal and modern uses of different species of plants found in California. We will walk along a creek in the area and also visit local, wilderness locations to look at the flora and discuss their uses.
Bone tools and adhesives/glue
The hunter-gatherer of old had various materials
available for creating simple and essential tools. Bone was one
of the raw resources that was used to create harpoon and knife
blades, pendants, needles, projectile points, fish-hook barbs
and numerous other items. Whether they hunted an animal or simply
made use of "found" sources, bone provided an ideal
material for shaping into the necessary tools of everyday, primitive
The class will consist of a lecture on specific bone characteristics and capabilities for fashioning tools. We will make needles, fish gorges and an awl from beef bone.
There will also be a discussion/demonstration on how to create adhesives and glue (pine pitch sticks, soaproot adhesive and hide/fish glue).
Forming a Vessel From Nature's Greenery
Archeological studies indicate that basket making is the oldest craft. People in every early civilization needed to carry home nuts, berries, herbs and meat from their foraging and hunting expeditions. Food needed something to gather it in, something in which to prepare it, something to cook it in, something to store it in . . . hence, baskets. Expediently, nature has provided each habitable region in the world with plants that can be woven into baskets to fill that need.
Despite centuries of civilization, invention and progress, a basket still cannot be made by machine. In the workshop, we will create a basket that is either twined or coiled. You will have the choice of doing a twined tule basket or a coiled grass basket.
Wilderness Survival Skills
Wilderness Survival Skills Revisited
© KAHIKO Arts 2015
No part, content, graphic, illustration or photo from this webpage may be copied, transferred or reproduced without express written permission from KAHIKO Arts. Contact Dino Labiste at KahikoArts@yahoo.com.