Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Amazon Caiman Spear

© 2009, 2010 Albert A Rasch and
$g&m f9bd 45kd q!?5. trochronicles.blogspot.com

My friend and fellow Blogger Todd Hill over at Primitive Point, lived and grew up in the Amazon. He and his father visit on a regular basis, and Todd recently forged a set of spear points for his friends in Brazil. Todd also is a founding member of The Backyard Smithy a sort of OBS of Neo-Tribal Bladesmithing. So for those of you interested in forging and bladesmithing his sites are good places to start.
Coincidently, I received this several years ago as a gift from a gentleman who runs a local gunshop. He traveled frequently to the Amazon basin and had adopted a small village. Perhaps they had adopted him, I not too sure of the initial start of his relationship with them, though I seem to remember that his father first brought him there a couple of decades ago. We spent several hours in conversation that day, and he graciously offered me this caiman spear as a parting gift.
The design is such that the wrapped cord holds the barb and the head in place against the foreshaft. When a fish or caiman was speared, the cord unfurled and the shaft floats to the surface allowing the hunters a better chance at retrieval.
The wood of the foreshaft and head is a dark, heavy, hard, and oily wood. The foreshaft is cylindrical with both ends tapered; sort of a long narrow barrel. The shaft, I was told, is from a flowering stalk.
The barb or spear point is made from 3/16" bar or nails hammered out by hand on a simple charcoal forge.
Here are the dimensions:

OAL 7’ 7”
Barb 6”
Head 4.75”
Foreshaft 11.5”
Shaft 6’ 3”
Cord 6’
Depth of hole in head ¾”

Albert A Rasch
The Hunt Continues...


Mungo said...

Terrific - the photos are great. Thanks for the detail shots!

Now, I just need to look around Toronto to find any ponds or rivers containing Caimans. Hmm.



Todd: said...

Love that spear, Albert. Really neat. Never seen one like it, and it gives some ideas to try. I can see I have a lot of reading to catch up on here. Awesome job on your blog!

Albert A Rasch said...


I bet it would work great with carp and catfish.

Thanks Todd. The dimensions are the actual lengths of the individual parts, but for instance the barb is in the head about three inches, and the for shaft is in the shaft three or four inches, so there is some overlap.

I might try to put one together this weekend... if nothing else comes up that is!