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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 ?
From shooting snakes and rats, plus grasshoppers, the magnet blowgun is truly worth looking at for back-to-the-land types and any survival-thinking people that just want a quiet way to take game or a very good defensive weapon.
If you have never tried a blowgun, it is extremely accurate with hitting a quarter-size target at 10 yards quite normal.
I hope this allows your family to use your blowgun much more and, of course, never aim at anything you don't mean to hit.
A couple of handfuls are supplied with the blowguns which start at around 12 bucks.
Of course curare was always involved, but I can never remember them actually showing what a dart looked like, so it lent just that much more to the blowgun mystique.
I couldn't get home fast enough to try to fashion my own blowgun based on the pictures and descriptions in the magazine.
A few more seconds on a grinding wheel to put a point on the business end, and I was ready to shoot with my home-made blowgun.
I quickly learned how he polished his essential pistol skills-hand-eye-head coordination, breathing and release--with slingshots, and more: He had not only independently discovered the firearms-training benefits of archery and blowguns, but was about to launch a new enterprise and website covering all three disciplines at simple-shot.
The variety of blowguns and darts available is astounding, and you can practice indoors or out.
My Quichua Indian friends hunt, fish and trap, though most use blowguns, bows, spears, or primitive muzzle-loaders.
A Quichua Indian just came into camp with his blowgun and a curassow over his shoulder.