We've been going through a ton of old National Geographics and in one issue there was a very short article (half a page) about some (American) Indian tribe that practices the sport of throwing arrows, if you can call it a sport. In the single photo that accompanied the article, the arrow appeared to be larger and heavier than a normal arrow, yet not quite approaching what a javelin would be. It had fletching and a steel head, which was also unlike any other arrowhead. It resembled a steel spike of around four to six inches long fixed to the head of the arrow. The participants made them all themselves.
Anyone ever heard of such a thing? I saw the article about a week ago and only now thought about posting something about it.
Okay, I found the article after leafing through about thirty issues. It was in the November 1993 issue in the "Geographica" section. It's all of three paragraphs long.
The sport, as it was described, only originated in the early 1900s. It's called Crow arrow throwing. The four-foot arrows are made of ash or chokecherry. The photo shows some sort of aid to throwing. The details are not clear but it says they can throw them about 40 yards. Apparently, the whole idea is to remember the days when they lived on the Great Plains. They now live on a reservation in southern Montana.
If I recall correctly, the Irish used throwing darts centuries ago, but they didn't use the atlatl handle---they just threw them.(I think.) They also had small steel heads and fletching and about 4-5 feet in length.
The throwing arrows referenced were tossed using a cord wrapped around the throwing hand. A notch is carved into the arrow and the arrow is tossed/thrown in a similar fashion to a sling bullet without the circular built up of speed.
I had seen his (Todd's) videos before and found them very interesting. I doubt the Crow Indian arrows for throwing had any historical connection to anything in Europe. Also, the steel head was unlike anything else I have ever seen, being essentially a spike about four or five inches long (the exposed part). It actually looks rather practical, though not something practical enough for hunting. The shaft doesn't appear to be as thick or (presumably) heavy as Todd's, either. The arrowhead seems to be secured with wire wrapping but it isn't clear.
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