Basketmaker Style Spearthrower 13 Years On

Here is an update on one of my favorite throwers. It was created one morning from a scrap of Osage Orange wood from the bow-making pile. The finger loops are rawhide. The style is a generalized Basketmaker/Great Basin but is probably a bit heavier than some of the originals as I throw darts that are probably heavier too.  It works for me. It has no weight attached yet in the above photo but had one added later just for the “tradition”. It throws well; even with my heavy Paleo darts.

This small but efficient hook style has never let me down.
I really enjoy seeing how much the Osage orange wood has darkened over time to a beautiful depp color.
The weight is attached with pitch glue (that has somehow never failed yet) and lashed tight with sinew and hide glue.
The natural curve of this piece is perfect for me.
I wasn’t really sure if I was going to succeed with these loops but they have held up remarkably well.
The weight is a chunk of argillite from central Arizona.

This piece has made me think of longevity of simple tools. Since I made my first thrower in 1987 I have learned much from examination and experimentation. If I used it everyday, I’m certain it would be battered and possibly broken by now. When a spear thrower isn’t being used for its intended purpose, I suspect it would be a club, digging stick, reach pole, or any other purpose that a stick is used for.

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