Indigenous Tools

  • So I'm bored sitting in the hotel on a layover and thought about starting a thread on "Indigenous Tools" divers have come across on trips to various regions of the world. I've seen some pretty creative stuff in the pacific (Fiji, Samoa, Christmas Island, Thailand) and most recently in Mexico. All have been variations on the original Hawaiian Sling like Uncle Sonny Tanabe from home on Big Island. What have you all seen? Hank in Belize and Vietbnam? Virgili in Cuba, Others....?

    Uncle Sonny Tanabe with hand made Hawaiian Sling and shafts:

  • I love the woodwork and mechanical design. A wooden reel...and to think we have to buy the latest and greatest space-age material. I remember coming out of the water in Fiji with my oldest son with all our gear and respectable stringer of reef fish and being humbled by an older Fijian woman who's stringer of fish was way more impressive than ours, loaded with reef fish and octopus...her gear?...a wire hanger looking spear and an old Clorox bottle for a float!


  • Saw this thread and thought about an old paper I wrote in one of my Archaeology classes. I learned that some of the first known "slip tips" were these bone and slate, toggling tips used to hunt seal and whale in the Aleutians. Amazing how these technologies are still employed in our gear today. Started getting into stone tools..eventually Me and a good friend and dive partner (now an archaeologist) began knapping our own obsidian points for bow hunting. LOL:laughing::laughing: good times

  • When I started spearfishing I had no knowledge of fish spearing equipment. I bought my first speargun, and when I saw the shaft with floppers it made perfect sense. At some point I realized that a flopper on a shaft is the modern day equivalent of a simple barb used by ancient spearfishermen. So I made and used this avatar for a while to acknowledge the history.


    The fish I was going after didn't require anything more complicated, but later on I learned of slip tips and they looked to me like a major hi-tech advancement in spearfishing gear. One day I thought about Inuit hunting seals, I've seen videos of this. Though I've never seen their hunting tools, by the way the hunter was holding on to the rope once the spear was thrust I figured he must have put a slip tip into the seal. So slip tips are a very old invention by human kind, that's been applied to modern spearfishing. It's also interesting to note that if you get a complete pass through with the shaft, and you're using one where the shooting line attachment point is some distance away from the rear end of the shaft, the whole shaft behaves like a slip-tip.

    I think the pics from this website Elfshot: What are the parts of a Toggling Harpoon? show well the parallel between the old gear and the new.



  • It seems that man of every time period goes throught the same thought process in his evolutionary quest of figuring out how to get "the one that got away". It's evident that each generation gains a technological advantage from materials and manufacturing, but the theories seem to have been introduced by the kupuna...the ancestors...of our sport and way of life, and we just merely keep coming back to their ideas but with new materials and applications...I wonder where the future generations will take it.

    Thanks for sharing.


  • lazers:D:D lol

    If you get into anthropology (archaeology) you see patterns in technology in cultures that had no contact at these times in human history. Aleut hunters also used atlatls to hunt from kayaks, these propelled darts with much more force than the human arm can muster. Half a world away, Australian Aborigines were using atlatls to hunt game and spear fish. (and store food) Paleo mesoamericans used atlatls to hunt as well, replaced by the longbow, recurve, crossbow...............and back to spearfishing. YupYup

    Edited once, last by Akira dkt: pressed reply accidentally ().

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member to leave a comment.