The Origin and Authenticity of an Atlatl and an Atlatl Dart from Lassen County, California

Author(s): Franklin Fenenga; Robert F Heizer

Year: 1941


J. Whittaker: Atlatl of willow, simple stick, slightly curved, with slight finger notches, groove and integral hook, 75 cm long. Cane dart, hardwood foreshaft broken off, 115 cm long, weighs 35.2 gm, v-shaped nock like arrow, 3 radial fletchings. Authors made and tested models, cast 150-250 feet.

Origin: Owned in 1910s-20s by “Charlie Paiute,” Maidu, who claimed to hunt with it. His daughter and others deny, as do ethnographic California groups in culture trait studies, although several archaeological specimens are known from the area. Could be conservative survival, fake or experiment by CP, who may have known about SW atlatls, or found a specimen and reinvented use. Authors favor last explanation.

[see also Heizer 1945, apparently it was diffusion from an archaeologist!]

Cite this Record

The Origin and Authenticity of an Atlatl and an Atlatl Dart from Lassen County, California. Franklin Fenenga, Robert F Heizer. American Antiquity. 7 (2): 134-141. 1941 ( tDAR id: 423324)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Atlatl bow & arrow Hunting Weapon

Geographic Keywords

Temporal Keywords
Mesolithic Neolithic Palaeolithic

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): EXARC Experimental Archaeology Collection Manager

Record Identifiers

ExArc Id(s): 10135


Rights & Attribution: The information in this record was originally compiled by Dr. Roeland Paardekooper, EXARC Director.