Image of a Waorani hunter using a blowgun the Amazon Rainforest.
Blowguns are an important and fundament part of traditional Waorani life and
culture. The Waorani Indians of Ecuador still commonly use the blow
gun to in order hunt. Waorani blowgun hunters use darts tipped with
curare poison in order to hunt monkeys and large birds and can target prey
up to 40 meters distant in the tree canopy. Waorani blowgun hunters
wrap kapok cotton around the leading end of the dart in order to provide
compression when blowing and to stabilize the darts in flight by acting as
ballast. Waorani men, rather then women, are in charge of making
blowguns and spears. Waorani blowgun construction consists of carving
channels in two strips of Peach Palm wood which are held together with
a cylindrical mouth piece to form a hollow tube. The entire Waorani
blowgun is wrapped with a vine. The blowguns of Waorani Indians are
always used in combination with a "quiver" for carrying the darts that
consists of "guadua" wood shaped into a hollow cylindrical tube.