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General >> Project Goliath - The History of The Sling >> Polynesian Style
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Message started by StaffSlinger on Oct 11th, 2008 at 11:23am

Title: Polynesian Style
Post by StaffSlinger on Oct 11th, 2008 at 11:23am
I'm doing a bunch of research on slings in the Pacific, for an article for Slinging.org.  Along the way I came upon this 1820s description of a slinging style I thought I would share separately.   This is quoted from quotes in the Occasional Papers of the Bishop Museum in Hawaii.  

Rev Wm Ellis wrote   Tour Through Hawaii. published in London, 1828

In Southern Polynesia (not Hawaii)  “The sling was held in the right hand, and armed with the stone, was hung over the right shoulder, and caught by the left hand on the left side of the back.  When thrown, the sling, after being stretched across the back, was whirled around over the head, and the stone discharged with great force.”  They were, he said, powerful and expert marksmen, and the stones when (as was general) thrown horizontally four or five feet from the ground, were seen with difficulty, and often did much execution."

In another place, he notes that the Hawaiians slung their stones with great force and precision and were supposed to be able to strike a small stick at fifty yards distance, four times out of five.  

Title: Re: Polynesian Style
Post by aussieslinger on Oct 11th, 2008 at 5:34pm
You may already know this but Gonzo808 is a Hawaiian and has posted some material on the history of slings in Hawaii. Perhaps you could contact him and compare notes.

Title: Re: Polynesian Style
Post by StaffSlinger on Oct 11th, 2008 at 8:39pm
Thanx.  I will get in touch with him.  I lived in the Marshall Islands for a couple years, and have contacts with Anthropologists and Ethnologists from your part of the world north to Hawaii; but every contact helps.

Title: Re: Polynesian Style
Post by wanderer on Oct 11th, 2008 at 9:54pm
You might find something in the journals of Wallis and those who voyaged with him around that part of the world before Cook. You probably know the paintings (in the pictures section of the site) of their encounters with the Polynesians, where slings came as a bit of a surprise.

I think lengthy accounts were published by the Hakluyt Society, but I've never managed to get to see them.

Title: Re: Polynesian Style
Post by David Morningstar on Oct 12th, 2008 at 3:49am
The description of the throw is again irritatingly vague. It could be read as having a single helicopter rotation kinda like the Byzantine style but it makes no sense to start by stretching it behind like that.

What makes most sense to me is what Tint shows at 45 seconds here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDdqaUkPevo

Title: Re: Polynesian Style
Post by StaffSlinger on Oct 12th, 2008 at 8:36am

David Morningstar wrote on Oct 12th, 2008 at 3:49am:
...it makes no sense to start by stretching it behind like that.


You're not pulling it towards your left back; but rather holding the bullet firmly on the left side and applying pull with the right.

1.  Concealed "cocking" of the sling for a fast flip from a vertical spin...
2.  The stretch 'lifts' the stone above head level quickly for the helicopter power spin(s) and throw.  Having tried it; I suspect they may have often used just a single around the head spin.
3.  If you have a very long sling, you can carry it loaded and ready to go; and get it spinning very quickly

Makes at least as much sense to me as the left hand holding the pouch forward, one-legged windup and pitch of the Greek style video I saw of Dave Taylor.

Title: Re: Polynesian Style
Post by winkleried on Oct 15th, 2008 at 11:35pm
StaffSlinger I sent ya an article on Hawaiian Sling Stones I had on my harddrive.

Marc Adkins

Title: Re: Polynesian Style
Post by curious_aardvark on Oct 16th, 2008 at 8:07am
check out tints mega video - he uses that style for a throw in that.

Title: Re: Polynesian Style
Post by David Morningstar on Oct 17th, 2008 at 9:03am

From http://rsnz.natlib.govt.nz/volume/rsnz_11/rsnz_11_00_000710.html


Quote:
Captain Wallis, who discovered Tahiti in 1767 (two years before Cook first visited it and New Zealand), was fiercely attacked by the Tahitians, who surrounded his ship with “a fleet of more than 300 canoes, carrying 2,000 men.” On that occasion (when Wallis was in danger, and only saved by his big guns), the islanders commonly used powerful slings, with which they did some execution even in a ship of war. Captain Wallis says:— “The canoes pulled towards the ship's stern, and began again to throw stones with great force and dexterity, by the help of slings, from a considerable distance; each of these stones weighed about 2lbs., and many of them wounded the people on board, who would have suffered much more if an awning had not been spread over the whole deck to keep out the sun, and the hammocks placed in the nettings.” Their bows and arrows, however, they did not use on that occasion during the fight. Further on Captain Wallis adds:—“Their principal weapons are stones, thrown either with the hand or sling, and bludgeons; for though they have bows and arrows, the arrows are only fit to knock down a bird, none of them being pointed, but headed only with a round stone.”*

Sydney Parkinson, who was with Cook on his first voyage, gives a drawing of the Tahitian sling (Pl. 13, fig. 1), and a description of it. He says:—“Their sling is about four feet long, made of plaited twine, formed from the fibres of the bark of a tree; the part which holds the stone is woven very close, and looks like cloth, from which the string gradually tapers to a point.”†


There is a lot of information here on missile weapons of the Pacific islanders.

Title: Re: Polynesian Style
Post by StaffSlinger on Oct 17th, 2008 at 9:34am
Thanx David; been there - both electronically the other day, and in person a couple years back.  The NZ and AU museums and libraries on line are good sources.  I also have Antro/Ethno friends out there doing some digging for me into Micronesian and Melanesian slings.

Title: Re: Polynesian Style
Post by Kilisi on Nov 15th, 2020 at 6:51am

David Morningstar wrote on Oct 12th, 2008 at 3:49am:
makes no sense to start by stretching it behind like that

It's the best/fastest way to make sure there are no kinks or anything in the fibre for a long sling.

Title: Re: Polynesian Style
Post by TOMBELAINE on Nov 15th, 2020 at 7:55am
In the post "the sling in everyday life", Curious Aardwark said with a video :

My friend Puchi, grew up in tibet on the family 'farm'. She used her sling to herd the yaks. She also uses the longest sling for target shooting I've yet seen. And a singular technique.

Is it like Polynesian style ?



Title: Re: Polynesian Style
Post by Kick on Nov 15th, 2020 at 8:54am
I've used that style that Puchi uses a lot for the long Tibetan slings and other long slings. It works great for getting them up to speed without straining yourself.

Title: Re: Polynesian Style
Post by Kilisi on Nov 15th, 2020 at 9:03am

TOMBELAINE wrote on Nov 15th, 2020 at 7:55am:
Is it like Polynesian style ?

Yes, for long slings as far as I know. I can't think of a better way to do it. Lots of advantages to doing it like that.

Title: Re: Polynesian Style
Post by TOMBELAINE on Nov 15th, 2020 at 9:24am
Thank you.
I must try !

Title: Re: Polynesian Style
Post by Kilisi on Nov 15th, 2020 at 10:30am

TOMBELAINE wrote on Nov 15th, 2020 at 9:24am:
I must try !

You're welcome, use a big stone and imagine you're standing in a line with men crouching on either side or paddling a canoe. Don't hit their heads with your sling ;)

Title: Re: Polynesian Style
Post by TOMBELAINE on Nov 15th, 2020 at 10:48am
Ok with the big stone but without the men on either side  ;D

Title: Re: Polynesian Style
Post by David Morningstar on Jan 4th, 2021 at 5:23pm
This is Puchi's style: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGmnXHQxi0E

Title: Re: Polynesian Style
Post by Slyngorm on Jan 7th, 2021 at 4:25am

David Morningstar wrote on Jan 4th, 2021 at 5:23pm:
This is Puchi's style: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGmnXHQxi0E

It definitely looks like the description.

Title: Re: Polynesian Style
Post by Kilisi on Jan 7th, 2021 at 3:59pm

David Morningstar wrote on Jan 4th, 2021 at 5:23pm:
This is Puchi's style: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGmnXHQxi0E

She has a very interesting sling, are the decorations/tassels functional or just decorations? Huge fingerloop, look like it's designed for a whole hand or wrist.

Title: Re: Polynesian Style
Post by Curious Aardvark on Jan 8th, 2021 at 9:41am
the traditional tibetan slings are multipurpose.
Used for herding animals (in puchis case I believe the family had yaks), but can also be used as a tumpline for securing loads to your back/head.

The tassles are decorative.
I have tried her sling and it's surprisingly responsive for it's length.
Probably the longest sling used in the balearic competitions.
Shorter slings are generally better for close target shooting.

Puchi grew up on a farm in tibet and used a sling in her everyday chores as a young girl.

So it doesn't get anymore authentic.

And using that start to stretch the kinks out of a long sling makes sense !
cheers Kilisi - we genuinely do learn something new every day :-)   

Title: Re: Polynesian Style
Post by Kilisi on Jan 8th, 2021 at 5:12pm

Curious Aardvark wrote on Jan 8th, 2021 at 9:41am:
the traditional tibetan slings are multipurpose.
Used for herding animals (in puchis case I believe the family had yaks), but can also be used as a tumpline for securing loads to your back/head.

The tassles are decorative.
I have tried her sling and it's surprisingly responsive for it's length.
Probably the longest sling used in the balearic competitions.
Shorter slings are generally better for close target shooting.

Puchi grew up on a farm in tibet and used a sling in her everyday chores as a young girl.

That makes a lot of sense as a working tool. The tassels would make it more visible so better for herding without throwing a stone you could just wave it around to move animals right close to you, in which case you'd just put your whole hand in the loop.

Working tools rarely have nonfunctional bits to them that would interfere with efficiency. It's more a matter of recognising what the function is.

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