Welcome, Guest. Please Login
SLINGING.ORG
 
Home Help Search Login


Pages: 1 2 
Send Topic Print
A Mexican Sling Analyzed and Reconstructed (Read 1713 times)
Teg
Interfector Viris Spurii
*****
Offline



Posts: 1087
Central Europe
Gender: male
A Mexican Sling Analyzed and Reconstructed
May 10th, 2021 at 5:23pm
 
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to trade a sling from a fellow forum member. The sling was originally made in Mexico and it caught my attention as its structure is quite similar to slings made in Tibet as well as in Saudi-Arabia. Also, it was described as having been "woven on tree branches" which points towards "twining over sticks" (see https://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1576446462/0#0 ), a technique which is suited to reconstruct some prehistoric slings, in particular egyptian slings.

Thus, with this sling we have likely traced the sling construction method of making a textile on twigs, and replacing these in a second step with a string, from Asia to the Middle East and, finally, to the Americas.

The sling recently arrived and I had the opportunity to analyze and reconstruct it. I documented the whole process in a video:
https://youtu.be/SPlBXZ6qGNk

The pouch is likely started in the middle and then worked outwards. This is similar to Tibetan slings. However, this sling has a twist on its own. The retention and the release cord are actually easily replaceable and the attachment points for them are made in a very clever way. But have a look for yourself in the video.

If you know other methods to make this sling, or if you spot any mistake I made, please let me know.

Factsheet of the sling:
Manufacturing date: ~2005.
By:  Woman in Mexico.
Material: likely sisal or a similar plant fibre.
pouch construction method: Original account: "Woven on tree branches".
Analysis: Probably either twining over sticks or a variation of ply split darning.
Time to make: ~1h.

Back to top
 

old_and_new_lr.JPG (224 KB | 12 )
old_and_new_lr.JPG
 
IP Logged
 
joe_meadmaker
Interfector Viris Spurii
*****
Offline


Slinging Ice is Cool!

Posts: 2037
PA, USA
Re: A Mexican Sling Analyzed and Reconstructed
Reply #1 - May 10th, 2021 at 7:06pm
 
This is pretty awesome Teg!† I'm only about 15 minutes into the video, but look forward to seeing the rest of it.

When you opened the package, I had the exact same reaction you did.† Wow, that's a big pouch!† Cheesy
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
dork
Funditor
****
Offline


I feel Smurfy when I'm
smurfing!!!! You too?

Posts: 995
In Beautiful Wisconsin
Gender: male
Re: A Mexican Sling Analyzed and Reconstructed
Reply #2 - May 10th, 2021 at 9:50pm
 
Iím glad it has a new owner to appreciate it. Excellent job. Yes that pouch is huge.
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Morphy
Slinging.org Moderator
*****
Offline


Checkmate

Posts: 7885
Re: A Mexican Sling Analyzed and Reconstructed
Reply #3 - May 11th, 2021 at 7:07am
 
So my first question when seeing pouches made of that size is- Is this meant to be used?

I have a traditionally made sling from Bolivia or Peru and it is massive. Probably slighlty smaller in dimension but much heavier in construction. I cant imagine its meant to be used but who knows.
Back to top
 

"I think this guy is the king of trolls of the forum, he waited 16 years just to say this. please pay your respects in an orderly fashion."-Sarosh
 
IP Logged
 
Curious Aardvark
Slinging.org Administrator
*****
Offline


Taller than the average
Dwarf

Posts: 13758
Midlands England
Gender: male
Re: A Mexican Sling Analyzed and Reconstructed
Reply #4 - May 11th, 2021 at 3:29pm
 
The pouch size is actually very practical.

Bear in mind that the traditional south and central american slings, as well as the tibetan ones, are made for use with animal herding and general herd protection.

You want to deter a wolf, a big rock will do a much better job than a small one.

So you're not doing prissy modern europaen target shooting with nicely shaped beach stone and clever manufactured ammo.

You're grabbing a hunk of dried mud and lobbing at at the lead animal to direct them away from where they want to go and towards where you want them to go.

A small pouch will struggle with large rocks or lumps of dried mud.†

A large and flexible pouch like that will fit and happily throw just about anything.

Even smallish stones will probably throw quite well.
The weight of the pouch doing a lot of the work for any light ammo.

So - yeah - that's a totally utilitarian, working pouch, meant for everyday use with whatever you can pick up from the ground.
Everything from medium size stones to lumps of dried animal dung.
The close woven texture will also be quite wear resistant against the sharper edges of ordinary rocks.† †

The tibetan slings tend to have really long cords. as they often double up as a tump line for help in carrying things.

The shorter cords on that sling very clearly say: everyday farm use† - as a sling !

We know that slings are still very much used as working tools in mexico, and that's definitely what you have there.†

I like it Smiley

Great video teg - interesting to see how you go about deconstructing and replicating something like that from scratch. Thumbs Up
Back to top
 

Do All things with Honour and Generosity: Regret Nothing, Envy None, Apologise Seldom and Bow your head to No One †- works for me Smiley
 
IP Logged
 
AncientCraftwork
Interfector Viris Spurii
*****
Online



Posts: 2323
Re: A Mexican Sling Analyzed and Reconstructed
Reply #5 - May 12th, 2021 at 1:38am
 
To me it looks more like a bad souvenir than a serious sling. Those cords are not even plied tightly. I have made slings with losely plied cords like that for testing, , and they'll twist around each other multiple times especially with heavy projectiles, very impractical and frustrating and feels like crap
Back to top
 

Love God, and thy neighbor
 
IP Logged
 
TOMBELAINE
Senior Member
****
Offline


Slinging Rocks!

Posts: 486
france
Gender: male
Re: A Mexican Sling Analyzed and Reconstructed
Reply #6 - May 12th, 2021 at 3:28am
 
I had an old nettle sling. Cords became less and less tight, but it always threw as well.
I must be an idiot for not realizing that my old sling was poopy.
Cry  Cry
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Curious Aardvark
Slinging.org Administrator
*****
Offline


Taller than the average
Dwarf

Posts: 13758
Midlands England
Gender: male
Re: A Mexican Sling Analyzed and Reconstructed
Reply #7 - May 12th, 2021 at 1:40pm
 
cords only twine around each other if you use a very narrow grip.
With the pouch like that you'd be using a wide grip.
Well, I would Smiley
Back to top
 

Do All things with Honour and Generosity: Regret Nothing, Envy None, Apologise Seldom and Bow your head to No One †- works for me Smiley
 
IP Logged
 
AncientCraftwork
Interfector Viris Spurii
*****
Online



Posts: 2323
Re: A Mexican Sling Analyzed and Reconstructed
Reply #8 - May 12th, 2021 at 1:42pm
 
Not really just talking about twining around each other but just cords crossing each other. A wide grip don't solve such bad cords in my experience, it helps a little but not enough. Greek style also helps, but not enough. Better just improve the sling.
Back to top
 

Love God, and thy neighbor
 
IP Logged
 
AncientCraftwork
Interfector Viris Spurii
*****
Online



Posts: 2323
Re: A Mexican Sling Analyzed and Reconstructed
Reply #9 - May 12th, 2021 at 2:14pm
 
Don't want to sound too grumpy. The weft is well done. And such a sling even with bad cords will still chuck what you put into it. Maybe not as well and refined or accurate, but nonetheless further and faster than by hand. But this sling seems not very good for a more advanced slinger.
Back to top
 

Love God, and thy neighbor
 
IP Logged
 
Kick
past-moderator
****
Offline



Posts: 4448
Finland
Re: A Mexican Sling Analyzed and Reconstructed
Reply #10 - May 12th, 2021 at 3:12pm
 
Curious Aardvark wrote on May 11th, 2021 at 3:29pm:
A small pouch will struggle with large rocks or lumps of dried mud.†

A large and flexible pouch like that will fit and happily throw just about anything.

Which is why the Tibetan slings work so well for snow and ice balls Cheesy
Back to top
 

You are a great guy Kick but also slightly scary at times. - Morphy
"Nothing matters, but itís perhaps more comfortable to keep calm and not interfere with other people." - H.P. Lovecraft, in a letter to Frank Belknap Long, 7 October, 1923
 
IP Logged
 
Teg
Interfector Viris Spurii
*****
Offline



Posts: 1087
Central Europe
Gender: male
Re: A Mexican Sling Analyzed and Reconstructed
Reply #11 - May 12th, 2021 at 4:33pm
 
First, thanks for the positive replies!

About the sling: I must admit, I have not yet found the time to shoot with it. And probably I'll† also not use it very much in order to avoid damaging it. But from to couple whirls I gave it, I had no issue with the cords twining around each other. So I expect it to perform well with decently sized rocks. My only issue is that there is no finger loop. The string might be a bit on the thinner side, so that it might not be too comfortable.

I think this sling has to be seen in its context, as CA already pointed at. It is not a high end artistic piece, but a sling with the economics clearly in mind, which often gets overlooked here.† It is very fast to make. We are talking of less than an hour. It requires no permanent tools / frames. Just a few sticks and maybe a needle. Pouch and cords are replaceable, the material is inexpensive and easy to acquire.

As I already mentioned, the design is quite clever. Also, the risk of cupping the shot / not having a clean release is greatly reduced by the fact that the load bearing strings on which the projectile will rest and roll out of the pouch, are the ones forming the attachment loops for retention and release cord. These run in the middle of each "wing" of the pouch, thus giving similar contact points with the projectile as a pouch half its size, meaning about ~4.5 cm in width. 4.5 cm is, give or take, what you would also see in the width of a balearic sling when a stone is in the pouch.

As CA said, it is not a high end sling, but it will likely throw anything you put into it reasonably well. Would I have made it smaller? Probably yes.† But I'll let you know how it performs once I had the time to shoot it.


Morphy wrote on May 11th, 2021 at 7:07am:
I have a traditionally made sling from Bolivia or Peru and it is massive.

Would you mind posting a picture? Dance slings definitively exist.
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
TOMBELAINE
Senior Member
****
Offline


Slinging Rocks!

Posts: 486
france
Gender: male
Re: A Mexican Sling Analyzed and Reconstructed
Reply #12 - May 13th, 2021 at 3:30am
 
Thank you Teg for your very interesting study.
However, I want to go back to a point that deeply bothers me. Treat the Corsican sheperds as comics, call a mexican sling a poopy sling are unacceptable.
Who are we to judge TRUE slingers ?
Sorry. We are passionnate but we are amateurs. What means : ADVANCED ? Let's not fall into the pretentious comedy. Sorry.
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
AncientCraftwork
Interfector Viris Spurii
*****
Online



Posts: 2323
Re: A Mexican Sling Analyzed and Reconstructed
Reply #13 - May 13th, 2021 at 4:49am
 
The cords look like they come right off a sisal twine ball from a dollar store. Sorry.† I am not going to say lie and they it looks good. It doesn't. Using the twine off the ball without retwining tigher or braiding is terrible.†

Can you make a bow by putting a string on a green untillered stick? Yes.
Would anyone in the archery community treat it as a professional well made bow? No.

Just because a sling is made by a Mexican, Arab or China man doesn't mean we now have to treat it as some sort of magical item.

What makes the Mexican who made this sling a true slinger , and us not true slingers?
I am of scandinavian descent. Are my slings now special viking slings?

Honestly, I don't care even if its 5000 years old. This looks like a beginners sling to me. Calling it ''great'' is wrong when it isn't. I don't like it.
Back to top
 

Love God, and thy neighbor
 
IP Logged
 
TOMBELAINE
Senior Member
****
Offline


Slinging Rocks!

Posts: 486
france
Gender: male
Re: A Mexican Sling Analyzed and Reconstructed
Reply #14 - May 13th, 2021 at 5:27am
 
If you are scandinavian, recognize that Viking boats are poopy boats. Because their hull is flexible and that take water permanently. All TRUE sailers will say.
While their boats were designed for speed and difficult seas.
So my question. For you, what is the use of a good sling ?
Back to top
 
 
IP Logged
 
Pages: 1 2 
Send Topic Print
(Moderators: Masiakasaurus, Chris, Curious Aardvark, Bill Skinner, Rat Man, Mauro Fiorentini, David Morningstar)