A – Atlatl Girls. Primitive skills for kids.

The atlatl (AT-ul-AT-ul) is just a sliver of wood with a spike or a hook at the end of it used by folks to hunt a bazillion years ago. You put a little wooden dart in the hole and sling it forward from behind you and over your head. Red1 has made a few and is getting quite good at making them and slinging the darts. Watch out, it doesn’t take much effort or power in the throw to shoot the dart deep into it’s target.

Sling Me
atlatl by Red1

But why is she making these things? Red1 and Red2 are my daughters and they homeschooled. They get to travel with their mom who goes to primitive skill share events around the southeast between quilting and sewing expos.

{Respond to one question with another questionable answer?} Yes! That’s us. So what’s a primitive skill share? It’s not a survivalist, Hunger Games, end-of-the-world cult family reunion, right? Right. 

The cool-factor: She met Andy Hemmings, and just hung out. Just from this link alone, to the article about the underwater archeology expedition for NOAA, he sounds pretty cool, right?

People gather to trade skills that our culture is almost too eager to leave behind. Botanists take them on nature hikes where they identify edible plants. They’re learning recipes for healthy teas and safe cleaning solutions. They made some homemade deodorant that smells better than anything I’ve ever bought in the store, but it also eliminated, not masked, eliminated all actual odors that were coming from me. They insist that I’m not that smelly to begin with, which is very polite of them, but I know it’s working great.

The ladies are currently fascinated by these things that people have started to forget about. Making cool primitive weapons, spoons, tanning, making meads and fermented foods. For thousands of years people preserved their harvests without refrigeration and created amazing beverages from the pounds and pounds of fruit in their trees. They grew and shared their vegetables and pickled them. Wait, tanning hides? Yes. They’re picking up dead things–carefully–to craft something from the hides. This summer we had a fox in our freezer for while before taking it to a friend to be de-furred. Poor little guy had a beautiful coat and will make a unique hand bag.

This June, they may be going to Firefly, http://www.fireflygathering.org, where they’ll trade hand-dyed recycled yarn and homemade ciders for leather purses, flutes, spoons and perhaps another atlatl.
April is the A-to-Z Challenge, and my theme for this challenge is explore the world my family has been swooped up in since they started homeschooling. While I’ve been at work, instead of becoming super computer geniuses, they’ve been out in the woods gathering herbs to make a few tinctures. 
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10 Replies to “A – Atlatl Girls. Primitive skills for kids.”

  1. What an interesting post! I'm looking forward to reading more – I'm particularly intrigued by that deodorant too. I wish there was stuff like what your girls are experiencing that I could introduce my son to ver here in England.

  2. It's good to see kids doing this kind of stuff. Mind spend all day angling to take the next turn on the iPad or other screen du jour. Right now they're in the back spray painting sticks and whacking each other with them so that's an improvement right? Right??!!

  3. DJ: We pulled our recipe for the deodorant from a book, but here's a link to a whole lot of pinned ideas:

    This one most resembles what we did:

    I was surprised when I started hearing about all this stuff, too. Surprised it was going on, but I can't imagine this being a US-only happening. Let's look for these folks in your neck of the woods.

    Roland: It sounds like they're BOFFING! Another pastime we've discovered.

    That would have been a good "B" post, but that one's already written…

  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I think your wife can use a lot of the activities I plan on sharing. You can tell it I love to quilt and sew too (if I make time for it).

    I like your primitive skills idea. I love learning and try and instill that in my kids too : )

    Kids Math Teacher

  5. I homeschooled my son too. I find that some of what they teach at school isn't always helpful in life. I like that you're giving them cool skills.

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