News Releases

August 26, 2011

Atlatl-making Workshop in Orwell

How did people hunt before the “invention” of the bow and arrow?

Many cultures around the world used what is called an atlatl, a spear-thrower used thousands of years ago. If you’d like to try one you made yourself, sign up for the annual atlatl workshop, to be held Friday, September 16, 2011, at the Mount Independence State Historic Site in Orwell, Vermont.

Champion atlatlist Robert Berg of Thunderbird Atlatl will present his atlatl-making workshop from noon to 5:00 p.m. The session includes making your own atlatl, making and fletching three field darts, and coaching from Berg on the use of your new equipment. Berg also will demonstrate modern construction techniques, flint-knapping, hafting stone points, and cordage making from natural materials.

Berg, a delightful and insightful teacher and story-teller, has taught primitive skills and the atlatl for 18 years. This is his 16th year presenting his workshop in Vermont. Berg was featured in Vermont Public Television’s program, Outdoor Journal, in March 2008.

The workshop has been moved to Mount Independence from its traditional location at the Chimney Point State Historic Site, due the adjacent Lake Champlain Bridge construction project, which will be completed next spring.

A $65 fee covers all materials, instruction, and admission to the museum at Mount Independence. Pre-registration is required. To request a form or ask questions, please call 802-759-2412. Or, the registration form is available online at:

The workshop is the first day of the three day 16th Annual Northeast Open Atlatl Championship—September 16 to 18, a highlight of Vermont Archeology Month special events. After making your atlatl, compete on Saturday or Sunday.

Mount Independence is open daily, 9:30 to 5:00, through October 10. It is located at 497 Mount Independence Road, six miles west of the intersection of Vermont Routes 73 and 22A.

For more information about the Vermont State-Owned Historic Sites, visit: Be part of the conversation and join the Vermont State Historic Sites on Facebook.

Source: Division for Historic Preservation
Last Updated at: August 26, 2011 08:21:56