The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

ENMU hosts atlatl throw


April 27, 2006

ENMU Communications

Registration for the 2006 Blackwater Draw Atlatl Throw will be held at Eastern New Mexico University’s Blackwater Draw Archaeological Site at 9 a.m. on Saturday. The site is located along the road to Cannon Air Force Base (N.M. 467), about six miles north of Portales and one mile north of the turn to Oasis State Park.

The public is invited to participate and/or watch. Admission and participation are free.

The target round begins at 10 a.m., with the official international standard accuracy contest round taking place in the afternoon.

The atlatl is a throwing board developed over 20,000 years ago and still used by indigenous people well into the historic period. It acts as an extension of the arm to throw a dart, and it increases the leverage and the power of the dart.

The ENMU competition pits the individual against giant ice-age animals (beaver, armadillo, saber-tooth cat, little-headed bison, blue-eyed mammoth, dire wolf) in a golf-style quest to be the first to hit the target.

There will be categories for men, women, and children, and prizes for the top finishers in each category. No experience is necessary. The public should bring atlatls and darts if they have them. There will also be some available for loan and sharing.

The competition is sponsored by Mu Alpha Nu (ENMU’s anthropology club), and the Department of Anthropology and Applied Archaeology

For more information, contact David Batten at 562-2750, or e-mail:


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