Native American Hunting Technology
Around 1500 years ago, the primary hunting weapons of the Native Americans were the spear and the atlatl. The atlatl was a shaft into which a short spear or a dart would be laid. The atlatl would be held up and swung above the head launching the dart or spear. From between 500 C.E to about 800 C.E the atlatl was replaced by the bow and arrow as the primary hunting weapon, however it remained in widespread use till the time of European contact (Shott).
The ancient Pueblo (aka Anasazi) were a sophisticated South American civilization that had an agriculture based lifestyle. Pueblo villages would hold large scale rabbit hunts in late summer, hunting jackrabbits and cottontail rabbits. They would also lay traps for gophers and prairie dogs. These animals were hunted primarily because they represented a threat to their crops. After harvest season, the Pueblo would hunt the mule deer, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, and bison till February or till the start of the agricultural cycle. They refrained from hunting during the mating season because the animals began to mate by then. They believed that the males did not taste well after the mating and they did not want to kill pregnant females because that would endanger the survival of the herds which served as their game (Cordell).
The ancient Aztecs used to hunt with a blowgun. This was a long hollow tube at the tip of which a small pellet of clay was placed. Aiming the tube at the intended target the Aztec hunter would exhale forcefully through the other end of the tube, making the pellet fly. This was a particularly effective weapon for use in hunting small animals particularly birds (Gilmore).
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