Ancient Mayan Throwing Stick Modernized by Bowmen (Jan, 1935)

I thought I remembered watching a Daily Show clip where the correspondent tried in vain to use one of these, but I couldn’t find it online.

Ancient Mayan Throwing Stick Modernized by Bowmen

BORROWING an idea from the Mayan Indians of Yucatan, Los Angeles sports enthusiasts have revived the ancient throwing stick to add new zest to the enjoyment of modern archery.

Used instead of a bow to hurl arrows great distances with deadly accuracy, the throwing stick, or “hul-che,” was used for both hunting and combat by the ancient Mayans. Several specimens of the weapon were found by Robert B. Stacy-Judd, famous archaeologist, and were given to Earl B. Powell, nationally known archery expert, who developed them as a modern sports accessory.

  1. Blurgle says: November 25, 20071:30 pm

    Does she not have a name of her own?

  2. Adrian says: November 25, 20074:16 pm

    Very similar to the Swiss Arrow:…

  3. Mike says: November 25, 20074:22 pm

    I’ve also heard them called ‘atlatl’:…

  4. Stannous says: November 25, 20078:11 pm

    It is, in Nuatl, and commonly today called an atl-atl.
    There are atl-atl hunting clubs all over the US (for those whom hunting grizzlies with bow and arrow is no challenge).
    The atl-atl is one of the demarcations between the paleolithic (early stone) and neolithic (new stone) ages. It allowed hunters to hunt larger, swifter prey from further away and survives today as a bright-colored plastic thrower of tennis balls for dogs.

    some interesting specs for comparison:
    Light Spear (equivalent to a javelin): 2 pounds, 50 mph, 1″ diameter
    Heavy Spear (equivalent to a Roman pilum): 5 pounds, 25 mph, 1 1/2″ diameter
    Light Atlatl Dart: 3 ounces, 85 mph, 1/2″ diameter
    Heavy Atlatl Dart: 6 ounces, 70 mph, 5/8″ diameter
    Primitive Arrow: 500 grains, 165 fps, 3/8″ diameter
    Modern Hunting Arrow: 540 grains, 220 fps, 11/32″ diameter
    .357 Magnum handgun bullet: 125 grains, 1450 fps, .357″ diameter
    .30-06 rifle bullet: 180 grains, 2600 fps, .30″ diameter

  5. Stannous says: November 25, 20078:20 pm

    Oops, forgot to credit the specs:…

    lots more, highly eclectic data about impact physics on that page’

    And Nuatl is the Aztec language, the article is about the Mayan version. These are found all over the world and still used by Kalahari bushmen in RSA.

  6. DaddyYo says: May 7, 20093:08 pm

    “Does she not have a name of her own?

    Comment by Blurgle — November 25, 2007 @ 1:30 pm ”

    That was her name. Remember you are reading pre-feminist literature. This is from a time when women were proud to married.

  7. Beth says: May 19, 20091:39 pm

    i love this website it was so helpful to me i cant wait until i get to use it agin NOT!

Submit comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.