Photograph of indigenous people hunting with blowguns in the Amazon River
Basin. Indigenous people in the Amazon Basin traditionally hunt with bows and
arrows or blowguns. The blowguns of indigenous people are all basically
manufactured in a similar manner. A select piece of dried wood is used to
form the main shaft as it must be straight and not warped. The main shaft
is split in two lengthwise and a channel is carved lengthwise to form a
hollow tube when the two pieces are put back together. A wooden mouthpiece
is used at one end to hold the two pieces together. In addition, brea (a
black tar) is often used to coat the entire length of the main shaft.
Indigenous people typically make darts out of sharpened fibers and use cotton or
the natural fiber of the kapok tree to provide an airtight fit into the channel
of the blowgun. Indigenous people hunting often use curare poison on the
dart tip. Indigenous people hunting with blowguns are amazingly accurate,
often successfully targeting prey from a distance of 40 meters.