Throwing-sticks in the National Museum

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Genres: Archaeology
Language: English
Type: Digital

Throwing-sticks in the National Museum, written by Otis T. Mason in 1884, likely focuses on the collection of throwing sticks held by the National Museum (possibly the Smithsonian Institution at the time). Here's a breakdown of the book's potential content and significance:


  • The book centers on throwing sticks, also known as atlatls, which are spear-throwing implements used by various cultures around the world.
  • The focus is likely on the specific collection of throwing sticks housed in the National Museum.


  • Detailed Descriptions: Mason would likely provide detailed descriptions of the throwing sticks in the collection. This could include:

    • Materials used in construction (wood, bone, etc.)
    • Sizes and shapes of the throwing sticks
    • Decorative elements or carvings on the sticks
    • Any mechanisms or features for attaching a spear
  • Global Context: While focusing on the museum collection, Mason might offer a broader context for throwing sticks. This could involve:

    • Geographical distribution: Discussing where throwing sticks were used historically around the world (e.g., Americas, Arctic, Australia)
    • Cultural variations: Highlighting how throwing stick designs differed between cultures
  • Functional Analysis: The book might delve into the functionality of throwing sticks. This could involve:

    • Explanation of how throwing sticks extend leverage and increase throwing power
    • How different designs might be suited for specific hunting purposes


  • Documenting a Collection: The book serves as a valuable document of the National Museum's throwing stick collection at a specific point in history.
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison: By analyzing throwing sticks from various cultures, Mason might provide insights into cultural adaptations and technological ingenuity.
  • Preserving Knowledge: The book helps preserve knowledge of these implements and their significance in hunting technologies.

Potential Considerations:

  • Limited Scope: The book likely focuses on the specific museum collection, and the range of throwing stick variations might not be exhaustive.
  • Focus on Artifacts: The primary focus might be on the throwing sticks themselves, with less emphasis on the cultures that used them.

Overall, Throwing-sticks in the National Museum by Otis T. Mason offers a valuable resource for understanding the design, function, and cultural significance of throwing sticks, particularly those in the National Museum's collection.


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