Monday, February 16, 2015

Aboriginal American Harpoons

Otis Tufton Mason - Aboriginal American Harpoons (1902)

Open Library direct link
Open Library main page

Another subject that's more complex than most of us thought.  Mason, an ethnologist and curator at the Smithsonian, covers harpoon design in both Americas and the Arctic, based mostly on museum collections with a few field reports.  Blade design, attachment methods, materials (turtle shells anybody?), shafts, usage - it all varies widely.  If you've ever wondered how to hunt manatees here's a mini-guide.  (Tip - cover your boat with branches so it looks like a floating tree.)