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hollow tube from which a dart or an arrow is blown by a person's breath. The arrow was usually tipped with a poison, such as curarecurare
, any of a variety of substances originally used as arrow poisons by Native South Americans in hunting and in warfare. The main active substance of curare, tubocurarine, is an alkaloid extracted from Chondodendron tomentosum, Strychnos toxifera,
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, which would stun or kill the struck prey. Blowguns were widely used by prehistoric peoples. In modern times they are still employed in SE Asia and by some indigenous peoples of the Amazon and Guiana regions of N South America.



an ancient weapon used for hunting (primarily birds) and sometimes for fighting. The blowgun is a tube measuring 1.5–3 m long, usually enclosed in another larger tube. Darts coated with a plant poison are ejected by the pressure of the air blown into the opposite end of the tube. The darts travel a distance of 30–40 m. Blowguns are still used in the inland regions of the islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan, in the tropical forests of the Malacca peninsula, and in South America. The blowgun was used more widely in the past; it was used, for example, by a number of tribes in the southeastern part of North America.

References in periodicals archive ?
There was a bedroom on my left with the door closed and a bedroom on my right with the door open, and right there, on the floor beneath the bed, was the blowgun. I probably wouldn't have had a clue what I was looking at if I hadn't just found a dead cat in my yard, but because I had, there was no mistaking it.
In all three cases, the teen boys found instructions online on how to make the blowgun darts.
Blowguns, one of the earliest weapons, have been enjoying a recent rise in popularity.
Beside this, in the night house where animals stay, that is being disinfected by blowgun fire.
Highland hunters--and this says much for their blowgun skills because of the quetzal's lightning speed--stunned them, plucked the long feathers, and then released them.
Steve Saint, who began living with the Waodani at age nine, was taken under the wing of a powerful man named Mincaye, who taught the youngster hunting with a spear and blowgun. At the same time, Steve's aunt, Rachel, or "Star" as the Indians called her, was teaching Mincaye the Gospel.
This one-of-a-kind event offers traditional Indian dancing; World Series stickball; and blowgun, bow and arrow, and drum-beating contests at the reservation off Highway 16.
I bought my first blowgun back in 1966 as a teenager.
The frog is found only in the rainforests of the Chaco region of west Colombia, where native tribes use its toxin for their blowgun darts when hunting.
Really, I want to add more shows, but whenever I mention it, the staff pulls out the poison blowgun and threatens to take me down.
It is the South American blowgun hanging over Matusch's desk - a gift from a relative on their return from a vacation.
In case we thought that dread was something distinctively modern, Adrienne Mayor reminds us in GREEK FIRE, POISION ARROW & SCORPION OMBS: BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL WARFARE IN THE ANCIENT WORLD (Overlook Press, $27.95) that serpent venom, toxic honey, monkshood, black hellebore, deadly nightshade, yew berries, frog toxin, rhododendron sap, stingray spine, jellyfish, dung beetles, and bug guts (not to mention rabies, anthrax, smallpox, curare, and bubonic plague) have, from antique times, been smeared on arrows, spears, swords, and blowgun darts, or shot out of catapults during sieges, or used to poison crops and well, by everybodv from Alexander the Great to the Holy Crusaders, including Hittites, Scythians, Spartans, Trojans, Romans, Persians, Hindus, Muslims, and Marcus Aurelius.