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General >> Project Goliath - The History of The Sling >> Tierra Del Fuego
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Message started by David Morningstar on Oct 25th, 2008 at 6:27am

Title: Tierra Del Fuego
Post by David Morningstar on Oct 25th, 2008 at 6:27am
http://www.nma.gov.au/cook/artefact.php?id=338




Quote:
Two three-ply, plaited cords made of sinews are affixed to the opposite ends of a diamond-shaped pouch, the latter made of brown leather and with traces of red pigment. One of the two cords is 5 cm longer than the other, and both end in ball-shaped bulges for a secure grip.

...

For use, the Selknam placed one or more stones in the pouch, which was held in the left hand, while the right hand grasped the two cords. The longer cord was held between the middle and ring fingers, while the shorter cord was held by the thumb and index finger and released after the sling was spun horizontally twice or three times, so that the stones flew out tangentially. The weapon was generally used for hunting birds, and only seldom in combat. When not being used, it was worn as a headband or around the neck

Title: Re: Tierra Del Fuego
Post by StaffSlinger on Oct 25th, 2008 at 10:15am
Here's another Tierra del Fuego sling, from the American Museum of Natural History collection.  Notice that in this one the cords are sewn to the pouch, not tied.  The cords are made from "whale gut"!

http://anthro.amnh.org/images/full/400/400_691.jpg

Title: Re: Tierra Del Fuego
Post by funda_iucunda on Oct 25th, 2008 at 5:27pm
Great findings!
Please tell us strangers what "tierra del fuego" means. Is it the southern part of Argentina?
How old are the slings?

funda iucunda

Title: Re: Tierra Del Fuego
Post by StaffSlinger on Oct 25th, 2008 at 10:30pm
Sorry.  Right.   Tierra del Fuego means "land of Fire", referring to the volcanoes there, not the climate :o Tierra del Fuego is a near Antarctic archipelago at the tip of South America - a huge island and bunch of others separated from the mainland of South America by the Strait of Magellan.  The southern tip of the archipelago is called Cape Horn.  This was the southernmost place to which those people who crossed the land bridge from Asia to Alaska could have migrated.  They arrived there some 15,000 years ago, if memory serves.  Whether they brought slings with them or developed them as they migrated south, we'll probably never know.  The Fuegans were notorious for sleeping out in 10F-20F and colder temps with maybe an animal hide for cover.  Tough folks.  Very primitive compared to those who became "American Indians" in the U.S. not to mention the Aztec/Maya/Olmec.Toltec and other "native" people who developed sophisticated cultures in South and Central America and Mexico.

Title: Re: Tierra Del Fuego
Post by funda_iucunda on Oct 26th, 2008 at 7:22am
Many thanks for the information. The countries name has the same meaning in German.

Once I read about the journey of Charles Darwin who visited South America. Is it possible that the Fuegans used as well bolas like the Indians of the Pampa ans elsewhere?
How old are the slings?

funda iucunda

Title: Re: Tierra Del Fuego
Post by Dr.Q on Nov 19th, 2008 at 9:34pm
That southern tip of argentina and or chile is better known
as the patagonia. about all travel agencies offer packages
to visit.

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