|Besant dart reproduction|
|Straight with real world imperfections|
To the best of my knowledge, there haven't been any complete Besant darts recovered, so I used darts found in arid caves in the Great Basin region of the US and on caribou ice patches in northern Canada as my templates. I wanted a fairly light dart, but I could afford to give it a bit of length. The atlatl that it is designed to accompany has a stone weight attached to it, which will help balance a long or heavy dart while in use. I don't have access to the actual atlatl and my atlatls at home don't have weights, so there is a bit of guess work involved, but I think it should be close to being in balance.
|The dart is 5 feet long, including the foreshaft, which is approximately 12 inches long. The atlatl in the picture is the same length as the Plains atlatl this dart is designed for, but lacks a weight.|
The general shape of the foreshaft and the foreshaft/main shaft socket are based on Great Basin atlatl darts. I used this design because its the same style of foreshaft and socket that I use on my cane darts at home. If the client decides to order additional darts or different point styles mounted in different foreshafts, then I can match them to my darts here in St. John's and be confident that they will fit with this dart in Calgary.
|The foreshaft tapers to a simple, conical point that fits into a drilled socket in the mainshaft. Its held in place by friction. The sinew lashing is there to prevent the mainshaft from splitting.|
|I added sinew over the pitch and ochre|
|Melting and mixing the ochre and pitch. I wanted to duplicate the ochre staining found in the hafting area of ice patch projectile points and give it a colour and texture that matched the rough and ready feel of many Besant projectile points.|
|Scarfed join bound with sinew and hide glue|
|I went with dark brown goose feathers for no particular reason, other than I felt they were a complimentary colour to the dark point and bookended the light coloured dart nicely.|
|Chert point, red ochre and pitch, sinew bindings, poplar foreshaft, wood mainshaft (willow or lilac shoot), goose feathers, , hide glue|
Photo Credits: Tim Rast