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Atlatl or spear throwing weight
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Stone weights were attached at a midway point to atlatls to increase the velocity of spears. Men were the primary hunters and fishers among Northeastern Native American groups. One use of atlatls was to improve spear throwing for fish. An annual spring activity was netting and spearing shad, salmon and other fish as they migrated upriver to spawn. This was also time for groups to gather to trade, visit and participate in ceremonies. In the Pocumtuck homeland, the confluence of the Deerfield, Green, Falls, and Connecticut rivers in present day Greenfield, Massachusetts, was such a gathering place.
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