Primitive skills enthusiasts find a challenge in exploring the use of atlatls and making cordage!

Many people believe that hunting tools moved from spears to the bow and arrow. However, there is a lesser-known weapon called an atlatl (pronounced at-latal or atal-atal) that was used prior to the bow and arrow. An atlatl is a small handheld device that is used to throw a long dart. History suggests that North American hunters used the atlatl to hunt bison, elk, deer and maybe even the woolly mammoth and mastodons!

Female (and young girl) Atl atl enthusiats participate in an atl atl tournament.

Atlatl is easy to learn but takes skill to master. Target competitions such as those promoted through the World Atlatl Association and using the atlatl for hunting are growing in popularity. Since 2010, Missouri has allowed the atlatl as a hunting method. Check out how an atlatl novice harvested a big buck with his atlatl Currently you can hunt turkey, fish and deer with an atlatl in Missouri.

Are you up for the challenge of learning this primitive skill in today’s modern world? Join us Saturday for a Primitive Skills: Atlatl workshop. The 90-minute sessions start at 10:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and are open to everyone nine years old and up. Registration is required at

Native Americans harvested plants from Missouri wild prairies to make bowstrings, fishing nets and clothing. Try your hand with this skill at Tuesday evening’s program Primitive Skills: Making Rope With Prairie Plants. This 90-minute, all ages program begins at 6:30 p.m. Registration is required at

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